The Palace of Illusions
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Picador. First published 2008.
This is relatively brief retelling of the Mahabaratha, from Draupadi's point of view. It is interesting to read, but rather light. The author relies almost solely on the fresh viewpoint for any novelty. Thus it can be only called a retelling - it neither a new interpretation, nor an attempt at 'feminist' literature using the epic as peg to hang modernist views. So the emotions are about the same as in the various versions of the epic I have read, and the almost the same set of events are emphasized. It remains faithful to the original in all essential aspects.
It would probably be unfair to really expect anything else. It would difficult, if not impossible, to impose 21st century sensitivities on literature of about 3000 years ago. However, despite this seeming difficulty, rather surprisingly, some of the cultural values are not really so different, and some interpretations could actually bring at least some of the values of those times closer to recent ones than to those of say a couple of centuries ago. Divakaruni does not try such interpretations and remains largely faithful to the 'standard model' handed down largely by right-leaning scholars.