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AK Kulshreshth
Author, Translator, Editor (anthology)
Bride of the City Volume 1
AK Kulshreshth, translator
In the ancient republic of Vaishali, a childless couple discover an abandoned infant girl in a mango orchard. They name her Ambapali, one who sprouted from a mango. When she turns eighteen, Ambapali is forced to become a courtesan – the Bride of the City – under Vaishali’s laws which dictate that a woman as beautiful as her cannot be only one man’s wife. Ambapali bows before the iron law of her society, but does not allow herself to be crushed. She sets terms that make her residence, the Palace of Seven Worlds, a centre of power. While the richest and the most powerful men grovel before her, Ambapali bides her time even as she burns with revenge… Published in Hindi in 1948-49, Vaishali Ki Nagarvadhu (literally, “Bride of the City of Vaishali”) took Acharya Chatursen ten years of deep research. With its vast canvas of characters including the Buddha and Mahavir, its moods and depictions of lust, love, statecraft, sorcery, war, spiritualism and above all, of the human condition, this is an unrivalled epic. This work, which should have been an icon of world literature, has never been translated. Cernunnos Books proudly presents this first translation in two volumes.