The Queen of Jasmine Country


Author: Sharanya Manivannan

9789353023843 | HB | pp. 160 | 2018 | HarperCollins

In The Queen of Jasmine Country, the life of the devotional poet Andal, whose sublime and erotic verses remain beloved and controversial to this day, is imagined.

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Young Kodhai, abandoned as a baby, is initiated into reading and religious devotion by her adoptive father from a garland-weaving priestly caste. She slowly discovers the sensuous power of words and her desire for a man who isn’t mortal but divine. As she decides to take a religious vow that will bring her closer to Lord Vishnu, her celestial love, she must also leave behind the human vestiges of womanhood.

The rich and delicately sensuous tale of Andal, the poet whose religious verses are still sung in rituals across temples in South India, Queen of Jasmine Country is an ode to piety and a universal encapsulation of the yearning of heart and soul.

This book was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2019.

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Sharanya Manivannan









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About the Author

The author wrote the short-story collection The High Priestess Never Marries, which won the 2015-16 South Asia Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity (Best Book – Fiction) and was shortlisted for the TATA Lit Live! First Book Award (Fiction) and longlisted for the Atta Galatta – Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize. She is also the author of two books of poetry, Witchcraft and The Altar of the Only World, and a picture book for children, The Ammuchi Puchi. The Queen of Jasmine Country is her first novel.


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