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Chitralekha Banerjee Edit Profile

also known as Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an Indian-American author, poet. Her short story collection 'Arranged Marriage' won an American Book Award in 1995, and two of her novels were adapted into films. 'Mistress of Spices' was short-listed for the Orange Prize. She writes for children as well as adults and has published novels in multiple genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, and fantasy.


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born in 1957 in Calcutta, India. In 1976, at the age of 19, Divakaruni immigrated to the United States. Divakaruni moved around the country, living in Chicago and Ohio before moving to her present location in Sunnyvale, California, in 1979. Today she lives with her husband and two children and teaches creative writing at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Divakaruni has also been active in her community. In 1991, she established MAITRI, a hotline for South Asian women who are victims of domestic abuse or abusive situations.


Divakaruni held many different jobs to pay for education, including babysitting, selling merchandise in an Indian boutique, slicing bread at a bakery, and washing instruments in a science lab. Divakaruni did not begin to write fiction until after she graduated from Berkeley, when she came to the realization that, "I loved teaching but didn't want to do academic writing. I didn't have enough heart in it. I wanted to write something more immediate" (Mehta).


  • book

    • Arranged Marriage: Stories

    • Sister of My Heart

    • Neela: Victory Song

    • Queen of Dreams

    • The Palace of Illusions: A Novel

    • The Reason for Nasturtiums

    • Leaving Yuba City

    • Indian Movie, New Jersey

    • We Too Sing America

    • Shadowland: Book Three of the Brotherhood of the Conch


Mitali Dutta