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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
© Anand Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

How to pronounce Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: chi-TH-rah ban-ERH-jee deewah-karoonee

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Biography

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, activist, and professor. Her work has been published in over fifty magazines, including The Atlantic and The New Yorker, and included in The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian, and Japanese. Several have been used for campus-wide reads and made into films and plays. She teaches at the University of Houston.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's website

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Interview

Chitra Divakaruni explains how her family, her childhood and the stories she was told have all influenced her writing.

When I was a child in India, my grandfather would tell me stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharat, the ancient Indian epics. I loved to hear about the wondrous exploits of divine warrior heroes such as Ram and Krishna, and the magical weapons--the enormous bow, the fiery discus--with which they destroyed evil kings and demons. There were human heroes too--the prince Arjun, the greatest archer in the world and Krishna's best friend; Guha, the tribal chieftain who loved Ram with all his heart. Their friendships--unselfish, devoted, noble--were meant to inspire us to similar emotions.

Even more than the men, I loved the great women of the epics. There was Ram's wife Sita, who gave up the pleasures of the palace to follow her exiled husband to the forest. There was Draupadi, who exacted a terrible vengeance for the humiliation she had to suffer at the hands of her husband's enemies. There was Queen Kunti, who could call down gods to father her children. There was Shabari, whose entire life was illuminated by her faith in Ram. Interestingly, unlike the male heroes, the main relationships these women had were with the opposite sex--with their husbands, sons, lovers, or opponents. They never had...

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Books by this Author

Books by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni at BookBrowse
Independence jacket Before We Visit the Goddess jacket Oleander Girl jacket One Amazing Thing jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Sister of My Heart

    Try:
    Brick Lane
    by Monica Ali

  • Anita Rau Badami

    Anita Rau Badami

    Born in the eastern town of Rourkela, Badami spent her childhood drifting around India as her father, a mechanical engineer and train designer, was transferred frequently. Her family moved at least eight times before she ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Sister of My Heart

    Try:
    Tamarind Woman
    by Anita Rau Badami

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