PUBLISHED IN JANUARY 2019 IN INDIA, AND TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE US IN AUGUST 2019, THE NOVEL THAT CHITRA DIVAKARUNI HAS BEEN WORKING ON FOR A DECADE
THE FOREST OF ENCHANTMENTS, BASED ON THE RAMAYANA.
IN THIS BOOK, SITA, THE MAIN FEMALE CHARACTER IN THE EPIC, TELLS HER STORY IN HER OWN VOICE. HER JOYS AND SORROWS. HER AGONY AND HER TRIUMPH. HER HEARTBREAK AND HER RESILIENCE. AND HER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT LOVE IS.
THE U.S. LAUNCH OF THE NOVEL IS IN HOUSTON, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14, AT THE JAIPUR LIT FEST IN HOUSTON HELD AT THE ASIA SOCIETY. MORE INFO TO COME. PRE-ORDER COPIES ARE AVAILABLE HERE. AMAZON IS OFFERING THE BOOK CURRENTLY ON KINDLE AT A SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT HERE.
MEANWHILE, HERE IS AN ESSAY IN WHICH DIVAKARUNI SHARES WHAT THIS BOOK—AND THE CHARACTER OF SITA—MEANS TO HER.
‘A terrific read! Chitra Divakaruni has pulled off the near impossible by penning a story even more compelling than The Palace of Illusions’ —Ashwin Sanghi
WHAT WRITERS, SCHOLARS AND REVIEWERS ARE SAYING
‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni turns the Ramayana around by telling it in the voice of Sita … This inversion is a gift – it presents us a with a way to know an already well-known story better and to love an already beloved story more’—Arshia Sattar
‘This inspired evocation of the goddess Sita is an epic song of strength and solidarity told with joy and intensity. It brings to life the personalities and predicaments of the Ramayana’ —Namita Gokhale
‘Among the many, many Ramayanas there are now even—thankfully—some “Sitayanas”, but I know of none with the special magic that Chitra Divakaruni … brings to the telling’—Philip Lutgendorf
‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sita … is an epitome of courage and self-respect, showing a path for all women. While weaving a familiar story, Chitra provides deep and surprising insights’ —Volga
‘In recasting the Ramayan as a love story Divakaruni accords Sita parity with Ram, revealing her innate strength. By giving primacy to her thoughts and feelings this also becomes the private tale of Shri and Shrimati Ramchandra Raghuvanshi, two wonderful people who loved each other but who broke up. To readers well-acquainted with that tragedy of modern times, the failed marriage, it will appeal. The ending, however, surpasses all expectations.’ The Sunday Standard
‘The success of both The Palace Of Illusions and The Forest Of Enchantments hinges acutely on the skill with which Divakaruni deploys the narratorial voice.’ Mint
‘The Forest of Enchantments is one of the simplest and most beautiful retellings of Sage Valmiki’s epic.’ Jetwings
‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni does justice to the women of Ramayana…The Forest of Enchantments is not just a retelling of a much-told epic, rather it is a book that tells it like it is —balanced and non-judgmental.’ Huffpost
‘A work...of pluralities and possibilities...This is the Sitayan we will give to our daughters, that they may imbibe Sita’s strength, and even more proudly to our sons, who will learn how a woman is to be treated’ The Wire
‘Banerjee is markedly feminist…Her spin on the most pivotal moment of Sita’s life, the agnipariksha episode, is a moment of feminist brilliance. Her Sita answers all the questions we would have had when listening to the Ramayana while leaving us with plenty of food for thought.’ The New Indian Express
‘Divakaruni’s retelling reminds her readers that the Ramayana, besides being a morality tale, is a love story at its heart’ Huffpost
‘Divakaruni and her women characters are a formidable pair’ The Wire