Shower of Gold: Girls & Women in the Stories of India

Shower of Gold: Girls & Women in the Stories of India

by Uma Krishnaswami, Maniam Selven
     
 
In Goddesses, Queens, and Saints, Uma Krishnaswami has collected and retold eighteen stories about women and girls from the Indian subcontinent. These heroines are nurturing and fierce, powerful and fragile, beautiful and plain, troubled and triumphant. Some are creations of popular folklore; others are from the magical worlds of Hindu and Buddhist mythology; still

Overview

In Goddesses, Queens, and Saints, Uma Krishnaswami has collected and retold eighteen stories about women and girls from the Indian subcontinent. These heroines are nurturing and fierce, powerful and fragile, beautiful and plain, troubled and triumphant. Some are creations of popular folklore; others are from the magical worlds of Hindu and Buddhist mythology; still others live in the borderlands between history and legend.

With spirit, humor, or determination, each strong female figure in these stories seeks her own path, often against great odds.The reader is introduced to Savitri, bent on defeating Death himself; to the Romeo and Juliet story of Roopmati and Baz Bahadur; to sweet Supriya, whose compassion moved a town to generosity; to Durga, the goddess who battles the forces of evil; and many more. Their stories are culturally grounded, but have universal appeal. Many hold powerful meaning for our time.

As with her previous book, The Broken Tusk (see left), Krishnaswami provides supportive material for these, tales. An introduction gives a framework for the Western reader to understand enough about the Buddhist and Hindu faiths to make sense of the stories and their characters, while also discussing the evolving social roles of women and girls in this area of the world. Notes following each tale put it into context, and a pronunciation guide, a glossary, a list of characters, and source notes round out the book.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In Shower of Gold, Uma Krishnaswami provides a fascinating glimpse of India through the stories of women and girls. In the title story the goddess Lakshmi transforms a poor but generous-hearted woman's sour gooseberry into fistfuls of gold. In "Savitri and the God of Death" a plucky princess matches wits with the god who wishes to take her young husband's life. Each story includes endnotes in which the author, who was born and raised in India, provides information on her research into and personal connection with the tale.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This wonderful collection of folklore is a fine addition to any library. The author notes that many of the stories have been taken from Hindu or Buddhist tradition while others come from literature like the Panchatantra, thought to have inspired such works as the Canterbury Tales. The selections range from a woman who must use her wits to overcome a domineering mother-in-law to a princess who chooses the duties of her birthright over true love. All of the tales feature wise and powerful women, although they may not be wise and powerful when their stories begin. Krishnaswami includes a note at the end of each tale that describes its origin, how she came to know it, and its importance. Black-and-white line drawings are scattered throughout. The book concludes with a pronunciation guide, a list of characters, and source notes.-Carol Fazioli, The Brearley School, New York City Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this worthy anthology, Krishnaswami (The Broken Tusk, 1996) has collected and retold 18 traditional tales which originated in the Indian subcontinent, all with female protagonists. Many of these simply told stories feature a heroine who must stand up for her beliefs. The tales will fascinate those accustomed to European stories, for the heroines—instead of ending up with the guy and the gold—are frequently rewarded in less tangible ways, often gaining a measure of spiritual enlightenment. In one tale, a young princess comes to realize that strength and duty are more important than looks and marriage; in another, a group of royal ladies endure physical deprivation, eventually convincing the Buddha that they have the spiritual wherewithal to become disciples. Krishnaswami, selecting these stories from myriad sources—ancient literature, Hindu and Buddhist mythology, folktales and legends—demonstrates genuine passion for the material; every story is followed by a helpful note that provides context and cites sources. More edifying than exciting, but often intriguing, these stories comprise a worthwhile resource. (b&w illustrations, glossary, sources) (Folklore. 11-14) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780208024848
Publisher:
Shoe String Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
125
Product dimensions:
7.23(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
9 Years

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