Forest Of Enchantments

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'One of the most strikingly lyrical voices writing about the lives of Indian women' -- Amitav Ghosh

'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni turns the Ramayana around by telling it in the voice of Sita ... this inversion is a gift - it presents us a with a way to know an already well-known story better and to love an already beloved story more'

-- Arshia Sattar

'This inspired evocation of the goddess Sita is an epic song of strength and solidarity told with joy and intensity. It brings to life the personalities and predicaments of the Ramayana' -- Namita Gokhale

'Among the many many Ramayanas there are now even - thankfully - some "Sitayanas" but I know of none with the special magic that Chitra Divakaruni ... brings to the telling' -- Philip Lutgendorf

'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Sita ... is an epitome of courage and self-respect showing a path for all women. While weaving a familiar story Chitra provides deep and surprising insights' -- Volga

'An incomparable storyteller' -- Denver Post

'Divakaruni's stories are irresistible' -- The New York Times Book Review

'Divakaruni's storytelling talents put her right up there with the best' -- Miami Herald

'In recasting the Ramayan as a love story Divakaruni accords Sita parity with Ram revealing her innate strength. By giving primacy to her thoughts and feelings this also becomes the private tale of Shri and Shrimati Ramchandra Raghuvanshi two wonderful people who loved each other but who broke up. To readers well-acquainted with that tragedy of modern times the failed marriage it will appeal. The ending however surpasses all expectations.' -- The Sunday Standard

'The success of both The Palace Of Illusions and The Forest Of Enchantments hinges acutely on the skill with which Divakaruni deploys the narratorial voice.' -- Mint

'The Forest of Enchantments is one of the simplest and most beautiful retellings of Sage Valmiki's epic.' -- Jetwings

'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni does justice to the women of Ramayana ... The Forest of Enchantments is not just a retelling of a much-told epic rather it is a book that tells it like it is - balanced and non-judgmental.' -- Huffpost

' A work ... of pluralities and possibilities ... This is the Sitayan we will give to our daughters that they may imbibe Sita's strength and even more proudly to our sons who will learn how a woman is to be treated' -- The Wire

'Banerjee is markedly feminist ... Her spin on the most pivotal moment of Sita's life the agnipariksha episode is a moment of feminist brilliance. Her Sita answers all the questions we would have had when listening to the Ramayana while leaving us with plenty of food for thought.' -- The New Indian Express

'Divakaruni's retelling reminds her readers that the Ramayana besides being a morality tale is a love story at its heart' -- Huffpost

'Divakaruni and her women characters are a formidable pair' -- The Wire

The Ramayana one of the world's greatest epics is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita's version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic often Paper Backunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi Surpanakha Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty betrayal infidelity and honour it is also about women's struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today she makes it more relevant than ever in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say 'Enough!'
Divakaruni Chitra Banerjee

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