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Ramayana Paperback – April, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, April, 1998
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About the Author

VALMIKI was a Hindu sage who lived around the beginning of the first millennium B.C. He is referred to as the 'adikavi', the original creator of the Hindu 'sloka' - a verse form in which most of the great epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, and other works are composed.

K.R. RAJI is a professional painter. She studied Fine Arts at the National School of Arts, Manjeri, and has shown her work at many painting exhibitions. She has also participated in artists’ camps in Kerala and further afield.

One of the best translators in India, PREMA JAYAKUMAR quit her job with a top bank in India to work on translations full time. Her latest translation, Wind from the Hills, was shortlisted for the Crossword Award 2008 and longlisted for the Golden Quill Award. Her translation of the famous Malayalam book Yakshi was picked by the BBC for their ‘Off the Bookshelf’, while her translation of Pandavapuram has inspired a Bengali movie. Apart from translations, she writes for periodicals and newspapers. Prema is also a Sanskrit scholar, with a passion for the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: South Asia Books; 2 edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8170943035
  • ISBN-13: 978-8170943037
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,541,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I confess – I was not familiar with Ramaya before receiving this book. “Back in the day” in my Eurocentric curriculum, very little time was spent during elementary and secondary school on Asian literature.

So, a basic, illustrated adaptation of Valmiki's “Ramaya” was a blessing. I could expose myself to this work during a plane flight – a SHORT plane flight, at that. Of course, that strength is also the book's biggest weakness; so much material, depth, hidden meanings, subplots, etc. must be omitted in order to squeeze hundreds of pages into 64, including illustrations and follow-up! The adaptor, Prema Jayakumar, recognizes this, and added a section documenting the major elements that were left out or tremendously shortened for this adaptation.

Given that the target age for this book is listed as 9 to 13, I wonder if some of the vocabulary might be a bit overwhelming for our younger readers. On the other hand, perhaps I underestimate their abilities, and the word selection is spot-on for them. (NOTE: Given that this book is at least in part about a newly-married couple, I would imagine that some of the trimming done by our adapter may have been in keeping with age restrictions for the targeted reader. Not having read the original, I cannot say.)

I certainly would recommend this book as an introduction to Indian literature, as long as the potential reader acknowledges that this is NOT meant to be a strict translation of the original work.

RATING: 5 stars

DISCLOSURE: I won this book in a random draw from the publisher. There was an expressed hope for a review (and implied hope for a good one), but neither was a condition set or agreed to as a condition of receipt.
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