ASOCA: A Sutra by Allan Sealy

Asoca-often spelled Ashoka-was hailed as Ashoka the Great, the emperor who ruled most of the Indian Subcontinent and was pivotal in the spread of Buddhism from India to other parts of Asia in the third century BC.

But his life as emperor was not always led by non-violence. History has it that he masterminded one of the biggest and deadliest wars ever fought, and it was the insurmountable grief he experienced at the sight of the people dying and dead on the battleground that made him turn to Buddhism and take a vow of ahimsa.

Who was the man, and who was the king? What were his demons, and what gave him strength? This historical novel, drawn from research and portrayed with energy and complexity, transports the reader to the era of the Mauryan dynasty with atmospheric vividness and insight. Epic in scope and Shakespearean in drama, Asoca: A Sutra leaves the reader breathless with the full-bodied richness of Sealy’s prose, his trademark whimsy and his imaginative modern reconstruction of that enigmatic and brilliant ruler of the Indian subcontinent.

About the author

Irwin Allan Sealy was born in Allahabad and educated at Lucknow and Delhi. He is the author of The Trotternama. His other novels include The Everest Hotel, The Brainfever Bird and Red. His Yukon to Yucatan is the account of an overland journey from the Arctic Sea to the Gulf of Mexico; more recent travels produced the pen-and-ink drawings of his China Sketchbook. Zelaldinus, his portrait of Jalaluddin Akbar, is a cycle of Fatehpur Sikri poems. A memoir, The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, is set in Dehra Dun, where he now lives.

Leave a Reply