Anita Desai

Uncle Remus

Kalila and Dimna: Selected Tales of Bidpai

By Ramsay Wood

Alfred Knopf 260pp. £6.95 order from our bookshop

In his brief and modest afterword, Ramsay Wood has listed the eight chief sources of this book of fables, saying that ‘each was useful in some way’ and that he ‘studied them till a master: template began to emerge. I wanted to write the truest story for a modern audience.’ Although a good deal of scholarship has gone into this selection and re-telling, he claims to be an ‘apprentice storyteller’ rather than a ‘traditional scholar’. Doris Lessing, in her lengthier preface, has also chosen to avoid giving the scholarly pedigree of these tales in the belief that this would distract attention from the primary to the secondary source of interest.

Sara Stewart


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • In all seriousness: good for them. Our bulbous award gets a bad rap every year; delighted for ER to give something else a go.,
    • Don't me ,
    • RT : Never got round to posting this - my piece on biog/memoir of wonderful in latest issue of ,
    • To celebrate Paul Beatty winning the Booker, here's our review of The Sellout, to read for free: ,
    • Thomas Hardy's phrenologist tells him he will 'lead to no good' in a new book about his life in London ,
    • John Knox said that crowning a woman was akin to putting ‘a saddle upon the back of an unruly cow’. Tell that to Catherine de'Medici...,
    • RT : I 💕💕 the Pulpit article in September's about rereading books at different times of life.,