"Possibly the most perceptive book that I have come across on India since the British Raj ended." Pranay Gupte, The Washington Post
Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God
Retracing the Ramayana Through India
978-0-8021-3733-3 • $18.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2000
The two-thousand-year-old Sanskrit epic Ramayana—one of the greatest literary works of the ancient world—chronicles Lord Rama’s journey from one end of the Indian subcontinent to the other and his spiritual voyage from man to deity. In Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, anthropologist and journalist Jonah Blank retells the ancient story in a lively prose while following the course of the epic hero’s quest through contemporary India and Sri Lanka.
In his adventures Blank encounters a chimerical subcontinent caught between the ancient and the modern, from swamis who wrestle both physically and metaphysically, to prepubescent Tamil guerillas barely able to lift their AK-47s, to television actors who are worshipped as living manifestations of Hindu deities. Sparkling with humor and cultural insight, Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God is an up-close look at the multifaceted jewel that is India, in all its poignant, picaresque, and paradoxical beauty.