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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