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Although Chitra Divakaruni's poetry has won praise and awards for many years, it is her "luminous, exquisitely crafted prose"(Ms. )that is quickly making her one of the brightest rising stars in the changing face of American literature. Arranged Marriage, her first collection of stories, spent five weeks on theSan Francisco Chroniclebestseller list and garnered critical acclaim that would have been extraordinary for even a more established author. For the young girls and women brought to life in these stories, the possibility of change, of starting anew, is both as terrifying and filled with promise as the ocean that separates them from their homes in India. From the story of a young bride whose fairy-tale vision of California is shattered when her husband is murdered and she must face the future on her own, to a proud middle-aged divorced woman determined to succeed in San Francisco, Divakaruni's award-winning poetry fuses here with prose for the first time to create eleven devastating portraits of women on the verge of an unforgettable transformation.
In India, a healer invites twelve-year-old Anand to join him on a quest to return a magical conch to its safe and rightful home, high in the Himalayan Mountains.
Like Divakaruni's much-loved and bestselling short story collection Arranged Marriage, this collection of poetry deals with India and the Indian experience in America, from the adventures of going to a convent school in India run by Irish nuns (Growing up in Darjeeling) to the history of the earliest Indian immigrants in the U.S. (Yuba City Poems).Groups of interlinked poems divided into six sections are peopled by many of the same characters and explore varying themes. Here, Divakaruni is particularly interested in how different art forms can influence and inspire each other. One section, entitled Indian Miniatures, is based on and named after a series of paintings by Francesco Clemente. Another, called Moving Pictures, is based on Indian films, including Mira Nair's "Salaam Bombay" and Satyajit Ray's "Ghare Baire." Photographs by Raghubir Singh inspired the section entitled Rajasthani. The trials and tribulations of growing up and immigration are also considered here and, as with all of Divakaruni's writing, these poems deal with the experience of women and their struggle to find identities for themselves.This collection is touched with the same magic and universal appeal that excited readers of Arranged Marriage. In Leaving Yuba City, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni proves once again her remarkable literary talents.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tilo, an immigrant from India, runs a spice shop in Oakland, California. While she supplies the ingredients for curries and kormas, she also helps her customers to gain a more precious commodity: whatever they most desire. For Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a priestess of the secret magical powers of spices. Through those who visit and revisit her shop, she catches glimpses of the life of the local Indian expatriate community. To each, Tilo dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice, for the restoration of sight, the cleansing of evil, the pain of rejection. But when a lonely American ventures into the store, a troubled Tilo cannot find the correct spice, for he arouses in her a forbidden desire - which if she follows will destroy her magical powers. . .
As her old sister is about to marry, 12-year-old Neela Sen knows her parents will soon arrange a betrothal for her. But when her father goes to Calcutta to secretly investigate India's growing independence movement and doesn't return, Neela realizes she must do the unexpected--take matters into her own hands.
Beloved bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Abraham Verghese as a "gifted storyteller" and by People magazine as a "skilled cartographer of the heart." Now, Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet, a sweeping, suspenseful coming-of-age tale about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life. THOUGH SHE WAS ORPHANED AT BIRTH, the wild and headstrong Korobi Roy has enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents, spending her first seventeen years sheltered in a beautiful, crumbling old mansion in Kolkata. But despite all that her grandparents have done for her, she is troubled by the silence that surrounds the circumstances of her parents' death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found, years ago, hidden in a book of poetry that had belonged to her mother. As she grows, Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents', and it seems her wish has finally come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family. Shortly after their engagement, however, a sudden heart attack kills Korobi's grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents' betrayal, Korobi decides to undertake a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will ultimately thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life. With flawless narrative instinct and a boundless sympathy for her irrepressible characters, in Oleander Girl Divakaruni brings us a perfect treat of a novel-- moving, wise, and unforgettable. As The Wall Street Journal raves, "Divakaruni emphasizes the cathartic force of storytelling with sumptuous prose. . . . She defies categorization."
A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat--told from the point of view of an amazing woman. Relevant to today's war-torn world,The Palace of Illusionstakes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale. The novel traces the princess Panchaali's life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father's kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India. Meanwhile, we never lose sight of her strategic duels with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna, or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy. Panchaali is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate.
In Queen Of Dreams, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni once more spins a fresh, spellbinding story of transformation. Rakhi, a young artist and divorced mother living in Berkeley, California, is struggling to keep her footing, with her family and her world in alarming transition. Her mother is a dream-teller, born with the ability to share and interpret the dreams of others, to foresee and guide them through their fates. This gift fascinates Rakhi, but also isolates her from her mother's past in India and the dream world she inhabits, and she longs for something to bring them closer. Caught beneath the burden of her painful secret, Rakhi's solace comes in the discovery, after her mother's death, of her dream journals, which begin to open the long-closed doors to her past. As Rakhi's mother writes 'A dream is a telegram from the hidden world'. In lush elegant prose, Divakaruni has crafted a vivid and enduring dream that reveals hidden truths about the world we live in, from which readers will be reluctant to wake.
From the award-winning author ofMistress of Spices, the bestselling novel about the extraordinary bond between two women, and the family secrets and romantic jealousies that threaten to tear them apart. Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family of distinction. Her cousin Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of that same family. Sudha is startlingly beautiful; Anju is not. Despite those differences, since the day on which the two girls were born, the same day their fathers died--mysteriously and violently--Sudha and Anju have been sisters of the heart. Bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend, the two girls grow into womanhood as if their fates as well as their hearts were merged. But, when Sudha learns a dark family secret, that connection is shattered. For the first time in their lives, the girls know what it is to feel suspicion and distrust. Urged into arranged marriages, Sudha and Anju's lives take opposite turns. Sudha becomes the dutiful daughter-in-law of a rigid small-town household. Anju goes to America with her new husband and learns to live her own life of secrets. When tragedy strikes each of them, however, they discover that despite distance and marriage, they have only each other to turn to. Set in the two worlds of San Francisco and India, this exceptionally moving novel tells a story at once familiar and exotic, seducing readers from the first page with the lush prose we have come to expect from Divakaruni. Sister of My Heartis a novel destined to become as widely beloved as it is acclaimed.
In nine poignant stories spiked with humor and intelligence, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni captures lives at crossroad moments-caught between past and present, home and abroad, tradition and fresh experience.A widow in California, recently arrived from India, struggles to adapt to a world in which neighbors are strangers and her domestic skills are deemed superfluous in the award-winning "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter." In "The Intelligence of Wild Things," a woman from Sacramento visits her brother in Vermont to inform him that back in Calcutta their mother is dying. And in the title story, a painter looks to ancient myth and the example of her grandmother for help in navigating her first real crisis of faith.Knowing, compassionate and expertly rendered, the stories in The Unknown Errors of Our Lives depict the eternal struggle to find a balance between the pull of home and the allure of change.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The beloved characters of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's bestselling novel Sister of My Heart are reunited in this powerful narrative that challenges the emotional bond between two lifelong friends, as the husband of one becomes dangerously attracted to the other. Anju and Sudha formed an astounding, almost psychic connection during their childhood in India. When Anju invites Sudha, a single mother in Calcutta, to come live with her and her husband, Sunil, in California, Sudha foolishly accepts, knowing full well that Sunil has long desired her. As Sunil's attraction rises to the surface, the trio must struggle to make sense of the freedoms of America-and of the ties that bind them to India and to one another.
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