Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God

Retracing the Ramayana Through India

by Jonah Blank

“Possibly the most perceptive book that I have come across on India since the British Raj ended.” –Pranay Gupte, The Washington Post

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date November 15, 2000
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3733-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $18.00

About The Book

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.

Praise

“Possibly the most perceptive book that I have come across on India since the British Raj ended.” –Pranay Gupte, The Washington Post

“What Hollywood attempted on the big screen with casts of thousands in Gandhi and A Passage to India Jonah Blank has achieved in 384 stylistically rich pages. . . . The splendors of India past and present are mirrored in the author’s exquisitely detailed observations.” –Los Angeles Times

“The narration [captures] a world of visual grandeur, otherwise accessible only to those who read Valmiki in the original. . . . One has a feeling of gratitude when one comes across a book like this.” –The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“[Blank] always seems to know the right question to ask, and the range of his sympathies is bracingly humane and perceptive. . . . One will surely leave the pages of this admirable book with a heightened understanding of Indian existence then and now.” –The Boston Globe