The Kathasaritsagara is a combination of simultaneously innocent and sophisticated folk stories bringing forth both common sense and highly sophisticated Sanskrit writing. It paints a vivid picture of a most particular part of India at one moment in history, and yet it tells stories that are the Indian variants – often the Indian sources – of stories told around the world. Arisha Sattar’s translations bring these stories to life in a modern way, while retaining their ancient meanings.
Arshia Sattar works with myths, epics and the story traditions of the Indian sub-continent, most particularly with the Sanskrit text of Valmiki's Ramayana. She writes about and teaches classical Indian literatures at various institutions in India and abroad and has recently published books based on Hindu myths and epics for younger readers. Her previous acclaimed translations at Rowman & Littlefield include Valmiki's Uttara Kanda: The Book of Answers and Valmiki's Ramayana.
Arshia Sattar’s wonderful translation in a language of our times lets us experience the worldliness of the Kathasaritsagara whose framed tales invite us to re-imagine Indian pasts through a breathless and breathtaking diversity of beings and creatures, castes, religions, pursuits, and outcomes. Sattar’s seasoned introduction, in her characteristically fresh voice, engages tantalizing questions of authorship, textuality, genre, and transmission, and draws both the connoisseur and the newcomer into the complex, interwoven, and sensuous world of Indian storytelling. An eclipsed classic can now be relished anew.
Arshia Sattar’s artful translation of Somadeva Bhatta’s Tales From the Kathasaritsagara brings this 11th century Sanskrit classic to life for today’s readers. The original Sanskrit verse is often described as “simple but elegant.” This would also describe Sattar’s wonderful translation. These highly entertaining tales of princes, kings, celestial beings, courtesans, and everyday men and women provide the reader with a compelling picture of life in South Asia during the time in which they were written.