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Chitra Divakaruni

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Chitra Divakaruni, an award-winning poet and novelist, was born in India . Her short story collection, Arranged Marriage , was awarded the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Fiction, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. She has since written four best selling novels, The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart , Vine of Desire and Queen of Dreams, and the short story collection, The Unknown Errors of Our Lives. Stories from this collection were published in Best American Short Stories and the O'Henry Prize stories . She also has four poetry collections, including Leaving Yuba City . She has published two children's novels, titled Neela: Victory Song and The Conch Bearer, and has been a judge for the National Book Award and the PEN Faulkner ! award.

Divakaruni's other awards include two PEN Fiction awards, 2 Pushcart Prizes, a Gerbode Foundation award, and an Allen Ginsberg poetry prize. Mistress of Spices   was chosen as one of the best 100 books of the 20th century by the San Francisco Chronicle and has been optioned for a movie. Divakaruni's work has been translated into 13 languages, including Hebrew, Dutch and Japanese. Her writing has received extraordinary praise. The Wall Street Journal wrote: "Ms Divakaruni emphasizes the cathartic force of storytelling with sumptuous prose...she defies categorization, beautifully blending the chills of reality with rich imaginings." USA Today said: "Her literary voice is a sensual bridge between worlds. India and America . Children and parents. Men and Women. Passion and pragmatism."


  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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