The Palace of Illusions: Redefining women’s roles in Indian mythology

Chitra Banerjee retells the Hindu Epic of Mahabharata from the perspective of a fierce and strong female protagonist

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni presents us with a feminist portrait of Mahabharata and Panchaali in The Palace of Illusions. Panchaali is the wife of the legendary five Pandavas. And she is trapped in the crossfires of their battle for power and kingdom. She is forced to stay at their side through years of exile. The book explores Panchaali’s complicated friendship with Krishna. The Palace of Illusions also reveals Panchaali’s secret desire to be with the Pandavas’ sworn enemy, Karna. Divakaruni chronicles the painful sacrifices Panchaali had to make as a woman. Chitra Banerjee retells the Hindu Epic from the perspective of a fierce and strong female protagonist in this compelling read.

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Chitra Banerjee Devakaruni
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing included in over 50 anthologies, including Best American Short Stories,  O.Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Her book of short stories, Arranged Marriage,  won an American Book Award, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and the PEN Josephine Miles Award for fiction. 

She writes prose and poetry encompassing a wide variety of themes, with much focus on the immigrant experience of South Asian women and Indian history, mythology and retellings. She shows the experiences and struggles involved in women trying to find their own identities.She urges women to come out and tell their own stories, re-writing history that has always unfairly glorified men.

In Mythology, she has written the Palace of Illusions and the Forest of Enchantments.   A complete list of works can be seen on Good Reads