Rabindranath Tagore: A BBC Radio Collection: Including The Home and the World & The Red Oleander

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2023
7 hours 32 minutes
A comprehensive anthology of dramatisations and readings of Tagore's finest works, plus bonus documentaries

Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. A novelist, poet, playwright, composer, artist and philosopher, he wrote both the Indian and Bangladeshi national anthems; exchanged ideas with Yeats, Einstein and Gandhi, and was hugely influential in promoting Indian culture to the West. This collection includes some of Tagore's key novels, plays and short stories, as well as his best-known poem and four fascinating biographical programmes.

We begin with two adaptations by award-winning dramatist Tanika Gupta. The Home and the World, starring Indira Varma and Sacha Dhawan, relocates Tagore's classic 1916 novel of love, power and political awakening to a contemporary British Muslim setting. Often acclaimed as Tagore's best play, The Red Oleander stars Saeed Jaffrey and Aileen Gonsalves, and tells the story of a beautiful girl who comes to a gold mining community and foments a revolution against its tyrannical king.

Next up is a dramatisation of the novelette Farewell, My Friend, a romantic, delightful tale of two young lovers starring Sam Dastor and Shireen Shah. It is followed by three short stories: 'The Postmaster' and 'The Kabuliwalah', read by Ronny Jhutti, and 'Wealth Surrendered', read by Renu Setna.

Tagore bared his musical soul in the poem 'Broken Song', read here by Peter Barker, and in Centurions: Rabindranath Tagore, poet William Radice and theatre director Jatinder Verma explain why it ranks as one of the 100 greatest art works of the 20th Century. Tanika Gupta joins presenter Matthew Parris and translator Ketaki Kushari Dyson to share her love of Tagore's writing in Great Lives: Tanika Gupta on Rabindranath Tagore, and Zia Mohyeddin reads a selection of his epistolary observations on English society and customs in Letters from Europe. Concluding the collection, Rabindranath Tagore: The Bard of Bengal explores the life and legacy of South Asia's Shakespeare.

First published 1891 ('The Postmaster'), 1891-2 ('Wealth Surrendered'), 1892 ('The Kabuliwalah'), 1910 ('Broken Song'), 1916 (The Home and the World), 1925 (The Red Oleander), 1929 (Farewell, My Friend)

The Home and the World
The Red Oleander
Farewell, My Friend
'The Postmaster'
'The Kabuliwalah'
'Wealth Surrendered'
'Broken Song'
Centurions: Rabindranath Tagore
Great Lives: Tanika Gupta on Rabindranath Tagore
Letters from Europe
Rabindranath Tagore: The Bard of Bengal

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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