Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (born Chitralekha Banerjee, 1956 - ) is an Indian-American author, poet, and the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Her short story collection, Arranged Marriage, won an American Book Award in 1995, and two of her novels (The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart) were adapted into films. Mistress of Spices was short-listed for the Orange Prize.

Divakaruni's works are largely set in India and the United States, and often focus on the experiences of South Asian immigrants. She writes for children as well as adults and has published novels in multiple genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, and fantasy.


Chitralekha Banerjee Divakaruni was born in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. She received her B.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1976. That same year, she went to the United States to attend Wright State University where she received a master's degree. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985 (Christopher Marlowe was the subject of her doctoral dissertation).


Divakaruni put herself through graduate school by taking on odd jobs, working as a babysitter, a store clerk, a bread slicer in a bakery, a laboratory assistant at Wright State University, and a dining hall attendant at International House, Berkeley. She taught at Foothill College in Los Altos, California and Diablo......
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