Girls for Sale  (Kanyasulkam) -  A Play from Colonial India

Girls for Sale (Kanyasulkam) - A Play from Colonial India

Product ID: 31245

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Author: Gurajada Appa Rao
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Velcheru Narayana Rao
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 368
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143066880


First staged in 1892, Girls for Sale (Kanyasulkam) is considered one of the greatest modern works of Telugu literature.

The first major play written in an Indian language that critiqued British colonial India’s effects on Indian society, it is filled with humour, biting social commentary, parody and masquerade. The plot revolves around an English-speaking dandy, a clever courtesan, a young widow, and an old man who wants to buy a very young girl as his wife.

Eminent Telugu scholar and literary critic Velcheru Narayana Rao’s English translation, with notes and a critical essay, makes Apparao’s work available to a new audience.


"This translation is a work of art."
--- David Shulman


Velcheru Narayana Rao is Krishnadevaraya Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia at the University of Wisconsin?Madison. Along with coauthor David Shulman, he was the 2004 recipient of the A.K. Ramanujan Prize for Translation from the Association for Asian Studies for Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology.


A Note on Translation and Transliteration

Girls for Sale

I. Dramatis Personae

1. Act One
2. Act Two
3. Act Three
4. Act Four
5. Act Five
6. Act Six
7. Act Seven

II. The Play in Context: A Second Look at Apparao’s Kanyasulkam
III. Note on Names and Castes
IV. On Kinship and Friendship
V. Performing Kanyasulkam
VI. Card Game in Act Ficve, Scene Two
VII. Guide to Pronunciation
VIII. Proper Names with Diacritics