A Goddess Named Gold


A modern fable of rural India narrated against the back drop of freedom struggle. It is a masterly satire on those who live by the lure of the gold.

The characters are introduced one by one in a leisurely manner, and we meet among them a pretty girl, a wandering minstrel and a magic talisman. Skilfully blending the worlds of fable and reality in the relatively insulated close textured fabric of rural life it delves deep into the human mind of the rural folk and the closely knit textured fabric of Indian life.

The plot centers around a touchstone given to Meera by her noble grandfather. It is believed that the amulet would enable Meera to turn copper into gold, provided she acts kindly as a natural and spontaneous expression of herself.

As we read the book, we hear the dialogue between man and his situations, between man and man and between man and the ideas he lives by. It entertains as a story, but it also disturbs us as a warning and as a prophecy.

"A most illuminating and satisfying reading experience, recommended without reservation. It is hardly possible to over praise this novel." - The Chicago Tribune

"Tinkling fable of rural facts of life and pure fun — ingredients which Bhattacharya has made his own. Since he loves the people he scolds and his fun-poking is without brittle edges, his lesson is pleasant to take." - The New York Times


Bhabani Bhattacharya (1906-1988), remains one of the most celebrated writers of his time, popular equally in India and abroad. A contemporary of Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan and Raja Rao, he is widely admired not only as a novelist but also as a translator, scholar, historian, biographer and a short story writer.

After a brilliant academic career culminating in doctorate from the University of London, he joined the Indian Foreign Service; he was, however, destined to be a creative writer. “…what helped me most was something within; a feeling not simply acquired… a need for self-expression as strong as the need for food, for sleep.”

In 1970-71 he joined University of Hawaii’s East-West Centre as visiting faculty, and went on to become Walker-Ames Professor at the prestigious University of Washington, Seattle. While teaching in various American universities, Bhattacharya continued with his literary pursuits, and also earned the sobriquet of “culture heir to the East and the West.”

Bhattacharya’s achievement as a novelist lies not only in the choice and handling of themes, narrative technique and art of characterization but also in shaping the English language as a suitable medium to convey Indian sensibilities.

One of the striking features of his novels is the prominence given to women characters/exceptional regard for women. Women are usually presented by him as highly significant if not central characters. They are not inferior to men, even if they happen to live in a male-dominated society.

In recognition of the services he was appointed Consultant, Ministry of Education, New Delhi, and to the Sahitya Akademi Advisory Board.

Book Details

ISBN: 9788122206173 | Format: Paperback, eBook | Language: English | Extent: 308 pp