Legendary appeal

In a country deeply familiar with its ancient epics, the genre of mythological fiction is turning the spotlight on hitherto overlooked narratives and characters. Alongside fuelling the rise of several celebrity authors, this literary device is serving as a barometer of cultural shifts in society

 Surrounded by constantly ringing phones and shop attendants clamouring for his attention, Mithilesh Singh, at Bahrison’s Booksellers in New Delhi, cuts a harangued figure. The head of book sales wearily looks at the shelves stacked with Indian mythological fiction and remarks, “These days, there is a book being written for every mythological character there is. I wonder what’s left now.”

He singles out Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan and Amish’s Shiva and Ram Chandra series as works that are especially in demand. Rajni Malhotra, the owner of this iconic bookshop in upscale Khan Market, adds that there have been enquiries for the third instalment of Amish’s Ram Chandra series, slated for release later this year.

At the nearby Faqir Chand and Sons bookshop, another local landmark, a few Delhi University students are browsing among the shelves. Sania, 21, a student of political science, is an avid reader of mythology. “I find the genre fascinating because it has room for multiple retellings of the stories we all grew up on,” she says....Read more

Source web page: Business Line

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