SHOWER OF GOLD by Uma Krishnaswami


Girls and Women in the Stories of India
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Age Range: 11 - 14
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In this worthy anthology, Krishnaswami (The Broken Tusk, 1996) has collected and retold 18 traditional tales which originated in the Indian subcontinent, all with female protagonists. Many of these simply told stories feature a heroine who must stand up for her beliefs. The tales will fascinate those accustomed to European stories, for the heroines—instead of ending up with the guy and the gold—are frequently rewarded in less tangible ways, often gaining a measure of spiritual enlightenment. In one tale, a young princess comes to realize that strength and duty are more important than looks and marriage; in another, a group of royal ladies endure physical deprivation, eventually convincing the Buddha that they have the spiritual wherewithal to become disciples. Krishnaswami, selecting these stories from myriad sources—ancient literature, Hindu and Buddhist mythology, folktales and legends—demonstrates genuine passion for the material; every story is followed by a helpful note that provides context and cites sources. More edifying than exciting, but often intriguing, these stories comprise a worthwhile resource. (b&w illustrations, glossary, sources) (Folklore. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 31st, 1999
ISBN: 0-208-02484-0
Page count: 125pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999