Book Review: ‘The Garden of Tales: The Best of Vijaydan Detha’

The Garden of Tales: The Best of Vijaydan Detha Book Cover

Book Title: The Garden of Tales: The Best of Vijaydan Detha
Author: Vijaydan Detha
Translator: Vishes Kothari
Publisher: Harper Perennial India
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-9394407442
Date Published: Feb. 6, 2023
Price: INR 416

Book Review

The Garden of Tales” is a collection of some of the best stories by the author Vijaydan Detha translated from Rajasthani by Vishes Kothari.

The book is about Rajasthani folklore and folktales are narrated impeccably by the author. With a mix of Rajasthan’s culture and heritage and the convincing and meticulous storytelling of VijaydanDetha, you are bound to get lost in the world of imagination!

What drew my attention to reading the book was its intriguing summary. What if you are given a loan by keeping your next birth as a mortgage? What if as a woman, you find out that your husband is also a woman, only after marriage? These questions incite a sense of curiosity to read the stories.

The stories in the book reminded me of my childhood memories when we used to listen to the stories of myths and fantasies and believed them to be true. The narration, the writing style, and the character development are marvelous across all the stories.

What is noteworthy is the inclusion of authentic Rajasthani words like, ‘Lichmi’ (Goddess Laxmi) ‘Kumbhar’ (a Potter), ‘Beendani’ (Wife. Also used for daughter in law), ‘Baaman’ (Rajasthani word for Brahmin)among others in the narration keeping the culture alive despite being a translation. It helps in putting life into the characters and makes the story seem realistic.

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I loved all the stories in the book but a few of them are the ones that I liked the most. These include – ‘Hollow Pride’, ‘Repayment’, ‘Mortgage of the Next Birth’, and ‘Only I Can Say No’.

If you also want to delve into the fantasy world of Vijaydan Detha, grab your copy of the book “The Garden of Tales” now!