The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

Model mythical women

Vasudha Dalmia

Pauwels, Heidi Rika Maria. 2008. The Goddess as Role Model: Sita and Radha in Scripture and on Screen. New York: Oxford University Press. 558 pages. ISBN 978 0 19 536990 8

Heidi Pauwels’ new book focuses on the early life of two major women figures in the mythic landscape of India, building not only on her wide knowledge of the North Indian devotional traditions, but on the awareness of their performative power and potential. She reviews the goddesses’ initial meeting with their respective consorts, courtship, marriage, and their handling of the problems with other women, for the changes in their model building role through the centuries.

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