Who's Who
Information
Entertainment
Publications
Directory
UFC


HomeLinksAdd LinksUpdatesMultimediaForumsSite Map

 

CompleteMartialArts.com - The Twentieth Wife: A Novel

The Twentieth Wife: A Novel
List Price: $15.00
Our Price: $10.20
Your Save: $ 4.80 ( 32% )
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Manufacturer: Washington Square Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

Buy it now at Amazon.com!

Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813
EAN: 9780743428187
ISBN: 0743428188
Label: Washington Square Press
Manufacturer: Washington Square Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 416
Publication Date: 2003-02-18
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Studio: Washington Square Press

Related Items

Editorial Reviews:

In The Twentieth Wife, first-time novelist Indu Sundaresan introduces readers to life inside a bejeweled, dazzling birdcage--the world of the Mughal Court's zenana, or imperial harem. Her heroine exercises power in the only way available to a woman in 17th-century India: from behind the veil. At the age of 8, Mehrunissa (the name means "Sun of Women") has already settled on her life's goal. After just one glimpse of his face, she wants to marry the Crown Prince Salim. And marry him she does, albeit some 26 years later, after overcoming the opposition of her family, an ill-starred early marriage, numerous miscarriages, and the scheming of other wives.

The story's gothic trappings have a basis in fact. As Sundaresan writes in her afterword, the historical Mehrunissa exercised far more power than was usually allotted to an empress, issuing coins in her own name, giving orders, trading, owning property, and patronizing the arts. (Curiously, the book ends just as Mehrunissa is ascending to the throne as empress, dwelling on her years of powerlessness and struggle rather than those of her enormous political influence.) Although the empress was fabled in her time, we know next to nothing about the woman herself. Unfortunately, Sundaresan does little to flesh out this intriguing figure. Despite the vivid historical detail, the reader remains more aware of the author's presence--and her own contemporary take on women's issues--than of her characters' inner lives. --Mary Park


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: mediocre history and romance
Comment: I have to say I was dissappointed with this book. I really wanted to like it...it had been strongly recommended--i love history and historical fiction and the Mughal period in history, but the writing fell short. The characters are mere sketches for whom the reader cannot develop any real empathy. The romance between Jahangir and Mehrunnissa is not given any depth. There are numerous very basic cultural and linguistic inaccuracies that should have been corrected in editing. The descriptive writing borders on cliche and stereotype. Not impressed.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Just okay...
Comment: as an avid reader of historical fiction, I can honestly say this is not the worst book I have read. However, the author's many mistakes really make this hard to read- for example, I have never heard of the word "Bapa" being used to address one's father (I grew up speaking Urdu)- and the author refers to the maternal grandfather as "Dada"- when the word is Nana. Mughal women did not wear "ghagara"s (loose skirts); rather they wore "gharaara"s, a sort of split skirt with embroidery and embellishments. And Muslims don't greet each other with "InshaAllah"- which means, God Willing- the author uses this phrase numerous times as a greeting or salutation. If you are familiar with the culture and language, it is annoying to read these mistakes.



Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: A book for the IQ depleted
Comment: I bought both this and " The Feast of Roses ' together as I thought they would be interesting reading.

I have read this one and my sincere advise to myself is to skip the second since this one was so pointless. Actually I should correct myself - pointless and aggravating.

The author's writing style is way below-basic and she explains things as if her target audience is about 11. With endless repetitions that are mind numbing. What really got me upset though is the bad hindi - english translations. I don't know if this is because this is a lady from the south writing about a north Indian setting or if there is some sub-optimal research at play here. For instance, she uses the word "Padshah" - does she mean "Badshah" ? Does "Bapa" mean "baba' or "Papa" and did she just get confused ?

Also, the difference between a wife ( in this case Empress) and a concubine is pretty vast. Ms Sundaresan seems to think otherwise as she groups all the women together and calls a " Zenana" a " harem". It seems like she thinks that empresses, eunuchs and concubines are equal parts of a harem. How insulting to even the memory of these reigning queens.

If she has passed this off as fiction, it would be fine. The book would be tossed and end of story. But to take a deeply historic theme and then produce this insulting collection of pages is embarassing to me as an indian.

I have actively decided neither to buy nor read anything by this author as this is what encourages books of this nature. I hope that somehow this will filter into her misguided rose tinted small world so future efforts can be a shade less embarassing.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A taste of India
Comment: What a wonderfully written book! I was entranced right from the start and the descriptions were so vivid that I could almost smell the jasmine, taste the spices and feel the breezes. I felt for the characters and just couldn't put the book down until I was done. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves to read books from other cultures or eras... I haven't been to India in person, but feel as though this book has allowed me to travel there in my imagination.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great Mugal Empire Hostorial Fiction
Comment: I highly recommend reading this book if you like Mugal Empire historical fiction or if you enjoy reading a story of a strong woman who believes in herself and beats all odds to attain her desires.

You'll want the sequel to this book, The Feast of Roses.


Buy it now at Amazon.com!

Books
Videos
DVD
Movies
Posters
Advertise


Top 50 Martial Arts Topsites List

Copyright © 1999-2008 CompleteMartialArts.com. All rights reserved.
powered by My Amazon Store Manager v 2.0, © Stringer Software Solutions