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Examining the caste system, culture, religious rules, and traditions, as well as the ambivalent relationship between handed-down cultural values and the new values of a changing world, Samskara looks at deeper moral and philosophical issues like how to lead a righteous life, the validity of customs, and the concept of brahminism in a contemporary world. A classic of modern Indian literature, it is both a religious novel and a contemporary reworking of ancient Hindu themes and myths. Probing multiple meanings of the word 'Samskara', which means rite of passage, ritual, preparation, transformation, as well as death rites, this novel is an engrossing tale of the personal transformation of a man living in a community that refuses to change with the times. This Oxford India Perennials edition includes detailed notes that explain Hindu myths, customs, Indian names, flora, and other terms, an afterword that explores the various dimensions of the novel's substance and meaning, and an essay by Susheela Punitha based on an interview with the author.
U.R. Ananthamurthy is one of India's best-known writers. He is the author of more than two dozen books in Kannada, including five novels, many of which have been translated into English and other Indian as well as European languages. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan and Jnanpith awards, he has served as vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, chairman of National Book Trust India, president of Sahitya Akademi, visiting professor in many renowned Indian and foreign universities, and is currently the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India.
A.K. Ramanujan was a distinguished Indian poet, critic, translator, and academic. He taught in many renowned universities in India and the US and is widely credited for his distinguished contributions to the discipline South Asian Studies. Recipient of the Padma Shri, among many other awards, he is best known for his English renderings of classical Tamil and medieval Kannada poetry.
Table of Contents
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE Samskara AFTERWORD by A.K. Ramanujan 'In Conversation with the Author' by Susheela Punitha NOTES