Sunday, April 5, 2009

Five best: books about India

Sudhir Kakar, whose books include The Indians: Portrait of a People and the forthcoming Mad and Divine: Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World, named a five best books about India list for the Wall Street Journal.

Number One on his list:
by Roberto Calasso
Knopf, 1998

"Suddenly an eagle darkened the sky," begins "Ka," Roberto Calasso's vivid retelling of Indian myths. Calasso brings ancient stories as alive for a non-Indian reader as they continue to be for most Indians. For in India, tales about the origins of the world, of man and sex and death, are not cadavers on the dissecting table of mythologists. The stories are worked and reworked into modern forms -- never more captivatingly than by Calasso in "Ka" -- and they continue to be the preferred medium for the expression of metaphysical and social thought.
Read about all five books on Kakar's list.

--Marshal Zeringue