Folklore pervades childhoods, families and communities and is the language of the illiterate. Even in large, modern cities, folklore—proverbs, lullabies, folk medicine, folktales—is only a suburb away, a cousin or a grandmother away. Wherever people live, folklore grows. India is a country of many languages, religions, sects and cultures. It is a land of many myths and countless stories. Translated from twenty-two Indian languages, these one hundred and ten tales cover most of the regions of India and represent favorite’s narratives from the subcontinent. A.K. Ramanujan’s outstanding selection is an indispensable guide to the richness and vitality of India’s ageless oral folklore tradition.
A. K. Ramanujan (1929-1993) was a scholar, poet, novelist, and playwright who wrote in English and Kannada. Until his death, he served as the William E. Colvin Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and on the Committee of Social Thought at the University of Chicago and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.David Shulman is the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and one of the world's foremost authorities on the languages of India.