Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Biography
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her work is
widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the
Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing
has been included in over 50 anthologies. Her works have been translated into 13
languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese.
She was born in India and lived there until 1976, at which point she left
Calcutta and came to the United States. She continued her education in the field
of English by receiving a Masters degree from Wright State University in
Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
To earn money for her education, she held many odd jobs, including babysitting,
selling merchandise in an Indian boutique, slicing bread in a bakery, and
washing instruments in a science lab. At Berkeley, she lived in the
International House and worked in the dining hall. She briefly lived in
Illinois, Ohio and Texas, but has spent most of her life in Northern California,
which she often writes about.
Divakaruni currently teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program
at the Univ. of Houston. She serves on the board of Maitri in the San Freancisco
Bay Area and on the Advisory Board of Daya in Houston. Both these are
organizations that help South Asian or South Asian American women who find
themselves in abusive or domestic violence situations. She is also on the board
of Pratham, an organization that helps educate children (especially those living
in urban slums) in India.
Divakaruni has judged several prestigious awards, such as the National Book
Award and the PEN Faulkner Award.
Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My
Heart, have been made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha (and Paul
Berges (an English film) and Suhasini Mani Ratnam (a Tamil TV serial)
Divakaruni lives in Houston with her husband Murthy, her two sons Anand and
Abhay (whose names she has used in her childrens novels) and Juno, the family
- The Reason for Nasturtiums (1990)
- Black Candle (1991)
- Arranged Marriage (1995)
- Leaving Yuba City (1997)
- The Mistress of Spices (1997)
- Sister of My Heart (1999)
- The Unknown Errors of Our Lives (2001)
- Vine of Desire (2002)
- Neela: Victory Song (2002)
- The Conch Bearer (2003)
- California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century (2004)
- Queen of Dreams (2004)
- The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (2005)
- The Palace of Illusions (2008)
- Shadowland (2009)
- One Amazing Thing (2010)
This biography was last updated on 08/10/2011.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2000 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that
some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date,
inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors:
If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we replace the old with the new, including your website URL if relevant.