The Palace of Illusions

The Palace of Illusions
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Anchor
Total Pages: 388
Release: 2009-02-10
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307472493

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Taking us back to a time that is half history, half myth and wholly magical, bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni gives voice to Panchaali, the fire-born heroine of the Mahabharata, as she weaves a vibrant retelling of an ancient epic saga. Married to five royal husbands who have been cheated out of their father's kingdom, Panchaali aids their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war. But she cannot deny her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna—or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy—as she is caught up in the ever-manipulating hands of fate.

The Palace of Illusions

The Palace of Illusions
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Total Pages: 388
Release: 2009
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780330458535

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Takes us back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, this book gives a woman's take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata.

American Betiya

American Betiya
Author: Anuradha D. Rajurkar
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Total Pages: 370
Release: 2021-03-09
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 1984897152

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A luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson. Praise for American Betiya A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2022 A YALSA Best Best Fiction for Young Adults A Cosmopolitan Best 100 Books of All Time A Book Riot best YA Book of 2021 A South Asia Book Award 2022 honoree A Children's Cooperative 2022 Best Book of the Year A 2022 Nerdy Book Club Best Novel Award Winner Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in--his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art--make him her mother's worst nightmare. They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver's troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself--and what's really brewing beneath the surface of her first love. Winner of SCBWI's Emerging Voices award, Anuradha D. Rajurkar takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. Braiding together themes of sexuality, artistic expression, and appropriation, she gives voice to a girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time. "A brave, beautiful exploration of identity--those thrust upon us, and those we forge for ourselves." --Elana K. Arnold, award-winning author of What Girls Are Made Of

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Anchor
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2002-08-13
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1400032792

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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.

Before We Visit the Goddess

Before We Visit the Goddess
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 224
Release: 2016-04-19
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1476792003

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"A novel in stories, built around crucial moments in the lives of 3 generations of women in an Indian/Indian-American Family"--

The Last Queen

The Last Queen
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 384
Release: 2022-05-10
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0063161885

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WINNER of the 2022 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WORKING WOMEN AWARD for BEST FICTION OF THE YEAR! LONGLISTED for 2022 DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD! She rose from commoner to become the last reigning queen of India’s Sikh Empire. In this dazzling novel, based on true-life events, bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni presents the unforgettable story of Jindan, who transformed herself from daughter of the royal kennel keeper to powerful monarch. Sharp-eyed, stubborn, and passionate, Jindan was known for her beauty. When she caught the eye of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, she was elevated to royalty, becoming his youngest and last queen—and his favorite. And when her son, barely six years old, unexpectedly inherited the throne, Jindan assumed the regency. She transformed herself from pampered wife to warrior ruler, determined to protect her people and her son’s birthright from the encroaching British Empire. Defying tradition, she stepped out of the zenana, cast aside the veil, and conducted state business in public, inspiring her subjects in two wars. Her power and influence were so formidable that the British, fearing an uprising, robbed the rebel queen of everything she had, but nothing crushed her indomitable will. An exquisite love story of a king and a commoner, a cautionary tale about loyalty and betrayal, a powerful parable of the indestructible bond between mother and child, and an inspiration for our times, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novel brings alive one of the most fearless women of the nineteenth century, one whose story cries out to be told.

One Amazing Thing

One Amazing Thing
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Hachette Books
Total Pages: 236
Release: 2010-02-02
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1401394957

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An acclaimed novel by the author of The Mistress of Spices, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Jhumpa Lahiri praises: "One Amazing Thing collapses the walls dividing characters and cultures; what endures is a chorus of voices in one single room." Late afternoon sun sneaks through the windows of a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and even most office workers have come and gone, but nine people remain. A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A graduate student haunted by a question about love. An African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. A Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair. When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping these nine characters together, their focus first jolts to their collective struggle to survive. There's little food. The office begins to flood. Then, at a moment when the psychological and emotional stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, "one amazing thing" from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. And as their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself. From Chitra Divakaruni, author of such finely wrought, bestselling novels as Sister of My Heart, The Palace of Illusions, and The Mistress of Spices, comes her most compelling and transporting story to date. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival -- and about the reasons to survive.

The Book of Illusions

The Book of Illusions
Author: Paul Auster
Publisher: Macmillan
Total Pages: 292
Release: 2003
Genre: Absence and presumption of death
ISBN: 0312990960

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A man's obsession with a silent-film star sends him on a journey into a shadow world of lies, illusions, and unexpected love Six months after losing his wife and two young sons in an airplane crash, Vermont professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours mired in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. Then, watching television one night, he stumbles upon a clip from a lost silent film by comedian Hector Mann. Zimmer's interest is piqued, and he soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to research a book on this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929 and has been presumed dead for sixty years. When the book is published the following year, a letter turns up in Zimmer's mailbox bearing a return address from a small town in New Mexico-supposedly written by Hector's wife. "Hector has read your book and would like to meet you. Are you interested in paying us a visit?" Is the letter a hoax, or is Hector Mann still alive? Torn between doubt and belief, Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision for him, changing his life forever. This stunning novel plunges the reader into a universe in which the comic and the tragic, the real and the imagined, the violent and the tender dissolve into one another. With The Book of Illusions, one of America's most powerful and original writers has written his richest, most emotionally charged work yet.

The Forest of Enchantments

The Forest of Enchantments
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Harper Collins
Total Pages: 372
Release: 2019-01-07
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9353025990

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'One of the most strikingly lyrical voices writing about the lives of Indian women' -- Amitav Ghosh 'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni turns the Ramayana around by telling it in the voice of Sita ... this inversion is a gift - it presents us a with a way to know an already well-known story better and to love an already beloved story more' -- Arshia Sattar 'This inspired evocation of the goddess Sita is an epic song of strength and solidarity told with joy and intensity. It brings to life the personalities and predicaments of the Ramayana' -- Namita Gokhale 'Among the many, many Ramayanas there are now even - thankfully - some "Sitayanas", but I know of none with the special magic that Chitra Divakaruni ... brings to the telling' -- Philip Lutgendorf 'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Sita ... is an epitome of courage and self-respect, showing a path for all women. While weaving a familiar story, Chitra provides deep and surprising insights' -- Volga 'An incomparable storyteller' -- Denver Post 'Divakaruni's stories are irresistible' -- The New York Times Book Review 'Divakaruni's storytelling talents put her right up there with the best' -- Miami Herald 'In recasting the Ramayan as a love story Divakaruni accords Sita parity with Ram, revealing her innate strength. By giving primacy to her thoughts and feelings this also becomes the private tale of Shri and Shrimati Ramchandra Raghuvanshi, two wonderful people who loved each other but who broke up. To readers well-acquainted with that tragedy of modern times, the failed marriage, it will appeal. The ending, however, surpasses all expectations.' -- The Sunday Standard 'The success of both The Palace Of Illusions and The Forest Of Enchantments hinges acutely on the skill with which Divakaruni deploys the narratorial voice.' -- Mint 'The Forest of Enchantments is one of the simplest and most beautiful retellings of Sage Valmiki's epic.' -- Jetwings 'Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni does justice to the women of Ramayana ... The Forest of Enchantments is not just a retelling of a much-told epic, rather it is a book that tells it like it is - balanced and non-judgmental.' -- Huffpost 'A work ... of pluralities and possibilities ... This is the Sitayan we will give to our daughters, that they may imbibe Sita's strength, and even more proudly to our sons, who will learn how a woman is to be treated' -- The Wire 'Banerjee is markedly feminist ... Her spin on the most pivotal moment of Sita's life, the agnipariksha episode, is a moment of feminist brilliance. Her Sita answers all the questions we would have had when listening to the Ramayana while leaving us with plenty of food for thought.' -- The New Indian Express 'Divakaruni's retelling reminds her readers that the Ramayana, besides being a morality tale, is a love story at its heart' -- Huffpost 'Divakaruni and her women characters are a formidable pair' -- The Wire The Ramayana, one of the world's greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita's version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women's struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, 'Enough!'

Sister of My Heart

Sister of My Heart
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Publisher: Anchor
Total Pages: 340
Release: 2009-09-15
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307476790

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From the award-winning author of Mistress 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 Heart is a novel destined to become as widely beloved as it is acclaimed.