As dreary winter gives way to a bright spring and we welcome Basant Panchami with an ode to Goddess Sarswati, Penguin Random House India proudly announces the acquisition and publication of a brilliant new novel, titled Sarasvati’s Gift, by bestselling writer and former journalist Kavita Kane. This book will be released under Penguin’s Ebury Press imprint by mid-2021.
Sarasvati’s Gift is the story of Saraswati, the Goddess of art, music and knowledge, told in the voices of nameless celestials, powerful gods and lesser mortals. As these peripheral figures and silent catalysts take centre stage, we get a glimpse of a remarkable woman and her remarkable story, obscured and buried beneath myths and legends.
Commenting on the upcoming book, author Kavita Kane says, ‘What better day than today, Basant Panchami, to announce my next book, a book on Saraswati, a book dedicated to her! Saraswati as a woman is completely fascinating—sharp, tough and uncompromising. As a goddess, there is none like her: stubborn, cerebral, eloquent, the original rebel who fights her battles without weapons but with her wit and quick tongue. The story idea originated from my own ignorance: for a very long time, I did not know she was the consort of Brahma. You see her serene and stately, in sheer ivory with her book and veena, rarely with her husband by her side like Shiva–Parvati or Lakshmi– Narayan. She is like a whimsical loner, who prefers her own company and values her own opinions over those of others; this picture of her kept strongly building in my mind till I knew I had to write on her!’
Kavita Kane is the bestselling author of six novels, and today, she is considered a revolutionary force in Indian writing, mainly because she introduced a feminist perspective where it was most needed: in Indian mythology. All her six novels are based on lesser-known women in Indian mythology: Karna’s Wife (2013), Sita’s Sister (2014), Menaka’s Choice (2015), Lanka’s Princess (2016), The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty (2017) and Ahalya’s Awakening (2019).
Milee Ashwarya, publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘I have known Kavita Kane for several years and have admired her sensitive and engaging portrayal of female characters from mythology. Saraswati’s Gift will be Kavita’s next book, and I am pleased that she has chosen to write about the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. I am delighted to publish it and to welcome Kavita to the Penguin Random House India family.’