'Who am I?' It was a question that had troubled him all his life. His whole life had seemed entangled in the answer. His dignity, his destination, his ambitions -- they all seemed linked to that entanglement. The irony was that the truth, instead of liberating him, had made him rudderless.
In the Mahabharata, Karna is known to be the only warrior who could match Arjuna. Born of a god and a mother who abandons him at birth, Karna is mistreated from birth. Rejected by Drona, taunted by Draupadi, insulted by his blood brothers, misunderstood by many and manipulated even by the gods, Karna is the classic tragic hero. In his novel Radheya, Ranjit Desai, the author of Marathi classics like Shriman Yogi and Swami, gives voice to the angst and loneliness of Karna.
Translated into English for the first time, the novel brings to surface the many sides to Karna's character: his compassionate nature, his hurt and hubris, the love for his wife, his allegiance to Duryodhana, and his complicated relationship with Krishna.
Karna: The Great Warrior by Ranjit Desai
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