Running in the Family
In the late 1970s Ondaatje returned to his native island of Sri Lanka. As he records his journey through the drug-like heat and intoxicating fragrances of that “pendant off the ear of India, ” Ondaatje simultaneously retraces the baroque mythology of his Dutch-Ceylonese family. An inspired travel narrative and family memoir by an exceptional writer.
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
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With 5,000 years of history, India is a culture united by diversity. Her literary traditions reflect her glory and heritage. Today, great works like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Jataka Tales echo throughout the world, having been portrayed in diverse art forms.
Writings of the Indian subcontinent can be found in no less than 17 languages, and the scope of Indian literature is too vast to cover in its entirety. Nonetheless, we hope to provide in this volume a glimpse into Indian’s ancient, pre-medieval and post-medieval literature.
Gateway to Indian Classical Literature features the most famous poets and writers who not only influenced the masses but founded entirely new schools of thought. Each section introduces the seminal works of each era, and addresses its influence on contemporary literature. Through these pages, you will be transported into the world of deities and demons, light and darkness, and India’s greatest aspirations and thoughts.
New in the Harper Perennial Modern Chinese Classics series, Border Town is a classic Chinese novel—banned by Mao’s regime—that captures the ideals of rural China through the moving story of a young woman and her grandfather. Originally published in 1934 by author Shen Congwen, this beautifully written novel tells the story of Cuicui, a young country girl who is coming of age in rural China in the tumultuous time before the communist revolution.
“The Story of the Stone” (c. 1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents’ choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events – love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder – within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.
A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Narayan employs the skills of a master novelist to re-create the excitement he found in the original. A luminous saga made accessible to new generations of readers, The Ramayana can be enjoyed for its spiritual wisdom, or as a thrilling tale of ancient conflict.