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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Author of The Mistress of Spices

36+ Works 9,895 Members 383 Reviews 35 Favorited

About the Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born in India and later moved to the United States to attend college. She earned a M. A. at Wright State University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Divakaruni held many odd jobs until she was able to become an accomplished writer. She was show more the president of MAITRI, a crisis hotline for female South Asian victims of domestic abuse, and is currently a professor at Foothill College in California. Her works have been recognized in more than 50 magazines and 30 anthologies. She also has been awarded two PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Allen Ginsberg Poerty Prize. Divakaruni's books include Arranged Marriage and The Mistress of Spices. Her Title One Amazing Thing made The New York Times Best Seller List. (Bowker Author Biography) Chitra Divakaruni is the author of the bestselling novels "The Mistress of Spices" & "Sister of My Heart", the story collection "Arranged Marriage", which won several awards, including the American Book Award, & four collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in "The New Yorker", "The Atlantic Monthly", "Ms.", & other publications. Born in India, she lives in the San Francisco area. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold


Works by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Mistress of Spices (1997) 1,894 copies
Sister of My Heart (1999) 1,610 copies
The Palace of Illusions (2008) 1,081 copies
One Amazing Thing (2009) 763 copies
Arranged Marriage: Stories (1996) 675 copies
The Conch Bearer (2003) 587 copies
The Vine of Desire (2002) 567 copies
Queen of Dreams (2004) 433 copies
Neela: Victory Song (2002) 352 copies
Oleander Girl (2013) 274 copies
Before We Visit the Goddess (2016) 260 copies
Independence (2023) 170 copies
The Forest of Enchantments (2019) 154 copies

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 1999 (1999) — Contributor — 455 copies
This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work (2004) — Contributor — 163 copies
Full Blooded Fantasy (2005) — Contributor — 88 copies
On a Bed of Rice (1995) — Contributor — 78 copies
The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology (1989) — Contributor — 66 copies
Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women (1997) — Contributor — 65 copies
Under Western Eyes: Personal Essays from Asian America (1995) — Contributor — 31 copies
Asian-American Literature: An Anthology (2000) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Mistress of Spices [2005 film] (2006) — Original book — 24 copies
Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing (2001) — Contributor — 19 copies
Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories (Signet Classics) (2009) — Contributor — 10 copies
Bittersweet (1998) — Contributor — 10 copies


(60) 20th century (46) American literature (40) anthology (154) ARC (54) Asia (41) California (55) contemporary fiction (56) ebook (56) essays (129) fairy tales (53) family (62) fantasy (173) feminism (70) fiction (1,107) historical fiction (98) immigrants (76) India (720) Indian (110) Indian fiction (48) Indian literature (65) Indian-American (43) literary fiction (46) literature (67) magic (56) magical realism (92) marriage (37) non-fiction (132) novel (120) own (42) poetry (89) read (127) relationships (34) romance (51) short stories (264) to-read (688) unread (67) women (131) women's studies (49) writing (59)

Common Knowledge

Kolkata, India
Places of residence
Kolkata, India
Dayton, Ohio, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Sunnydale, California, USA
Berkeley, California, USA
Houston, Texas, USA
University of Calcutta (BA|1976)
Wright State University (MA|English)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD|English|1985)
Professor of Creative Writing
Board of Directors "Pratham"
Advisory Board, "Daya"
University of Houston
Awards and honors
PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize for Fiction
Bay Area Book Reviewers Award (Fiction)
American Book Award
South Asian Literary Association Distinguished Author Award, 2007
Best Books of 2003, Publishers Weekly, The Conch Bearer
Sandra Dijkstra
Short biography
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her themes include women, immigration, the South Asian experience, history, myth, magic and celebrating diversity.

She writes both for adults and children. Her books have been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese. Two novels, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into films. Her short stories, Arranged Marriage, won an American Book Award. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.



Just didn’t get into it so never finished
kimwalsh814 | 5 other reviews | May 24, 2024 |
Too many unformed characters and a lot of telling instead of showing made this myth retelling very boring.
bookwyrmm | 37 other reviews | Mar 13, 2024 |
Independence is a really lovely novel. I loved the bond between the sisters and how the dynamics between them changed as they grew older and apart. The backdrop of the story - the independence of India, was fascinating and prompted me to spend more time learning about that piece of history. I didn’t connect with the story quite enough to rate it 5 stars, but I would still recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction.
dinahmine | 5 other reviews | Feb 20, 2024 |
Takes place in the basement office of a visa permit for India. While a group of people are there awaiting there requests for a visa, an earthquake occurs. They find themselves trapped with limited food and water. Each one tells about a meaningful incident their lives while they await their outcome.
bentstoker | 122 other reviews | Jan 26, 2024 |



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