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Book review: Animalia Indica, edited by Sumana Roy

ANIMALIA INDICA, The Finest Animal Stories in Indian Literature. Edited by Sumana Roy. Aleph Books.

What a treat this book is! Opening with that absolute classic, Kipling`s Rikki- Tikki-Tavi, the imagery of which stays in the head well after the reader has finished the story, the book offers up a great melange of tales of critters, big and small, along with some striking illustrations by Rohan Dahotre.

By the time I was done reading Khushwant Singh`s compelling description of the majestic Kala Nag in The Mark of Vishnu, Shripad Narayan Pendse`s story of Jumman, the goat that briefly became an object of worship, Habib Kamran`s account of how he got physically and emotionally involved in the lives of a family of bulbuls in his garden, RK Narayan`s hilarious cross-talk tale between a foreigner and poor illiterate Muni, Moti Lal Kemmu`s political allegory, A Tale of Animals and Vikram Seth`s delightful poem The Crocodile and the Monkey, I`d decided to return the book to the library, then go out and buy myself a copy. Because this one sure is a keeper.

animal storiesAnimalia IndicafictionIndian literatureSumana Roy

Sheila Kumar • October 25, 2019

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