Epic Loves – Ashok K. Banker


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The Mahabharata is celebrated as the greatest story ever told about war. But at its heart it may well be about love—tender and wounding, romantic and pragmatic in equal measure. In this book, Ashok Banker, a pioneer of fiction based on Indian myth and history, brings us five great love stories from the Adi Parva, the opening section of the Mahabharata.

Beginning with the classic tale of the star-crossed lovers Shakuntala and Dushyanta, Banker takes us to territories both familiar and surprising: King Shantanu’s consuming passion for Ganga, incarnated as a human, who will eventually abandon him; Satyavati’s healing love that pulls Shantanu out of grief, but for which a son must pay a terrible price; Bhishma and Amba’s brief, tragic meeting that will haunt them for life; and the little-known but perhaps the most poignant story of all—the story of two friends, Devayani and Sharmishtha, and the man they both loved, Yayati.

These are timeless tales of desire, retold for the 21st-century reader in brilliantly accessible and dramatic prose by an extraordinary storyteller.


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