Invitation to World... Episodes

2010, TV Show

Invitation to World Literature Season 1 episodes

The Thousand and One Nights Season 1, Episode 13

"The Thousand and One Nights," a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, is discussed in the Season 1 finale with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musical director Marin Alsop and producers Aly Jetha and Shabnam Rezai (the animated "1001 Nights" series). read more

The God of Small Things Season 1, Episode 12

Arundhati Roy's "The God of Small Things," about the Indian caste system, is discussed by Princeton English professor Simon Gikandi and author Evelyn Ch'ien. read more

One Hundred Years of Solitude Season 1, Episode 11

Gabriel García Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is discussed with writers Sandra Cisneros and Ilan Stavans. read more

Things Fall Apart Season 1, Episode 10

Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart," about a tribal leader in colonial Nigeria, is discussed by Nigerian playwright Tess Onwueme and theater director Chuck Mike. read more

Candide Season 1, Episode 9

Voltaire's satiric "Candide" is discussed with filmmaker Harold Ramis, Kristin Chenoweth and cartoonist Chris Ware. read more

Popol Vuh Season 1, Episode 8

"Popol Vuh," the creation story of the Maya, is discussed with archaeologist Richard Hanson, humorist Mo Rocca and Guatemalan artist Shuni Giron. read more

Journey to the West Season 1, Episode 7

"Journey to the West," 16th-century Chinese novelist Wu Cheng'en's story of a monk traveling to India in order to take Buddhist scriptures to China, is discussed with playwright David Henry Huang, storyteller Dianne Wolkstein and translator Anthony Yu. read more

The Tale of Genji Season 1, Episode 6

"The Tale of Genji," a look at court life in medieval Japan by 11th-century noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, is discussed with novelist Jane Smiley and playwright Chiori Miyagawa. read more

The Bhagavad Gita Season 1, Episode 5

"The Bhagavad Gita," a sacred Hindu scripture, is discussed with sanskrit expert Sheldon Pollack (Columbia) and composer Philip Glass. read more

The Bacchae Season 1, Episode 4

Euripides' play "The Bacchae" is discussed with playwright-author Wole Soyinka, actor Alan Cumming and writer-critic Daniel Mendelsohn (Bard College). read more

The Odyssey Season 1, Episode 3

Homer's "The Odyssey" is discussed with theater director Mary Zimmerman, actor-director Tim Blake Nelson and psychologist Jonathan Shay. read more

My Name Is Red Season 1, Episode 2

The novel "My Name Is Red," about a murder in the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, is discussed with its author, Orhan Pamuk. read more

Gilgamesh Season 1, Episode 1

The first episode of the series, which explores timeless tales from various eras and cultures, relates the story of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk circa 2500 B.C., via artifacts from ancient Iraq, illustrations, dance, and costumes. Guests include Assyriologist Ben Foster, comic-book illustrator Jim Starlin and poet-playwright Yusef Komunyakaa. read more

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Premiered: October 01, 2010, on Syndicated
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Writers and literary scholars discuss timeless tales from various eras and cultures. Also: Performers provide modern interpretations of the stories.

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