The biography traces the life of the talented actor from her childhood to her stardom, her controversial marriage and untimely death. It also includes a sharp critique of the films that defined her and that read like a roster of the best of New Indian Cinema.
About A Brief Incandescence :
By the time she died at the impossibly young age of thirty one, Smita Patil was recognized as one of India’s finest actors ever. In a career spanning a mere ten years, she came to be regarded as one of the leading lights of the New Indian Cinema of the mid-1970s and had a body of work that would have made veterans proud. It also includes a sharp critique of the films that defined her and that read like a roster of the best of New Indian Cinema: Bhumika, Mandi, Manthan, Samna, Bhavni Bhavai and Mirch Masala, among others, as also the unfortunate forays into mainstream commercial cinema.
Incisive and insightful, and marked by great empathy for its subject, this is an invaluable addition to film studies in India in the way it brings alive an entire era of meaningful Indian cinema.
Maithili Rao is a journalist and book critic who lives in New York. She is currently a producer for The Takeaway at WNYC, where her work has included coverage of the Arab Spring, Fukushima disaster, the 2012 US presidential election. She’s a contributing writer for The Daily Beast/ Newsweek. Her reporting, essays and book reviews have also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Boston Review,Publishers Weekly, The New York Observer, Words Without Borders, The Millions, The Nation and other publications.