In today’s Wednesday Wisdom we wish to recommend you a book, that is unparalleled in terms of both the narrative and the brilliant writing.
Chitra Divakaruni’s masterpiece The Palace of Illusions completes 10 years and if you haven’t read it till now, you surely have missed out on an evocative piece of writing.
First published in 2008, The Palace of Illusions received wide acclaim for giving a woman’s take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata. Narrated by Panchaali, wife of the five Pandava brothers, the novel traces her life from fiery birth and lonely childhood, where her beloved brother is her only true companion; through her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna; to marriage, motherhood and her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy. This tenth anniversary edition, complete with a new author’s note, celebrates once again a remarkable and deeply human story about a woman born into a man’s world.
‘I was very nervous when The Palace of Illusions was published ten years ago. I didn’t know if my Panchaali would touch a chord in even one single reader. But the book became successful beyond my dreams. This made me deeply thankful to so many readers for their willingness to listen to an alternate interpretation of the ever-relevant Indian epics. For embracing Her Story, which is, ultimately, a crucial part of the Human Story. To you, my readers, I dedicate with gratitude and love, this tenth anniversary edition of The Palace of Illusions.’ – CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions completes ten years of captivating readers through Panchaali’s splendidly woven, compelling, and extremely significant version of the Mahabharata. On this happy occasion, we are proud to present this exceptional novel in a special tenth anniversary edition, with a heart-warming note from Chitra to her readers. A limited number of copies come autographed by her, and with a beautiful bookmark, making this edition a real treasure, a true collectible. We remain delighted, as ever, with the immense and richly deserved success of this book.’ TEESTA GUHA SARKAR, Senior Commissioning Editor
‘Back in 2008, when we first published The Palace of Illusions, the genre of mythological/heroic fiction was still establishing itself in India, and a novel in such a genre with a woman at its centre was not exactly the convention. But we believed in Chitra’s remarkable story, and in Panchaali’s voice. We hand-sold copies to retailers, recommended it to colleagues and friends, hoping all the while that a wider readership would soon accept this book. And they did. I am so proud that the book went on to become a bestseller and I couldn’t be happier that we are bringing out a special edition to mark ten years of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions.’ RAJDEEP MUKHERJEE, Managing Director
Select Praise for The Palace of Illusions
‘Divakaruni’s historic and transporting variation adds new and truly revelatory psychological and social dimensions to the great epic’s indelible story of sacrifice and spiritual awakening’ Booklist
‘An epic story … poignantly told’ Hindustan Times
‘A radiant entree into an ancient mythology … Remarkable’ Houston Chronicle
‘The Palace of Illusions is unique, amongst Divakaruni’s very best … A creative, illuminating feminist work’ India Currents
‘An intimate, feminine portrait that is both contemporary and timeless’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A mythic tale brimming with warriors, magic and treachery … Divakaruni’s sentences dazzle; the images she creates are masterful’ Los Angeles Times
‘Enchanting … Divakaruni’s storytelling talents put her right up there with the best’ Miami Herald
‘Vivid and inventive … Divakaruni’s rich, action-filled narrative contrasts well with the complex psychological portrait of a mythic princess’ Publishers Weekly
‘A daring novel … inhabited by kings, queens, villains and sorcerers’ Vogue India
Have you read this book? If yes, share what did you like or dislike about it. If not, what are you waiting for?
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