Cover: The Triumph of the Snake Goddess, from Harvard University PressCover: The Triumph of the Snake Goddess in HARDCOVER

The Triumph of the Snake Goddess

Kaiser Haq

Introduction by Wendy Doniger

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674365292

Publication Date: 10/12/2015

Text

368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

A rendition so rich in detail and so replete with humor that the narrative comes alive again for new readers in unexpected ways.—Rosinka Chaudhuri, The Times Literary Supplement

Kaiser Haq’s The Triumph of the Snake Goddess is essential reading for all of us who grew up with stories of snakes as objects not just of fear and fascination, but also of veneration, respect, even worship.—Tabish Khair, The Hindu

Noteworthy in Haq’s translation are the pleasant descriptive language…and modern vernacular touches… The lengthy introduction (from University of Chicago history of religions professor Wendy Doniger) and prologue are excellent scholarly tools. This book will appeal to students of comparative religion, but can be read with equal enjoyment by laymen in search of engaging storytelling. Even today in South Asia itinerant performers act out the Manasa stories, and women leave out bowls of milk for snakes to pray for fertility. The snake goddess’s triumph is complete.—Rebecca Foster, Wasafiri

Both an impeccable scholarly venture and a sparklingly imaginative literary work in its own right, Kaiser Haq’s composite edition—and brilliant translation—of Manasamangal tells the gripping (and frequently hilarious) story of Manasa, the snake-goddess, and the contestation of a minor deity’s rights and privileges by a human. Manasa reminds us of the stubborn immortality of the folk and the non-canonical when faced with the literary and canonical. This is a revelatory, fascinating, and compelling book.—Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

In The Triumph of the Snake Goddess, Haq provides an informative and authoritative introduction to the Manasa traditions of premodern Bengal while creating a highly readable composite narrative of his own. The text is further animated by Doniger’s introduction, which vividly situates the regional particularities of Manasa against the pan-Indian mythic backdrop.—Brian A. Hatcher, Tufts University

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