Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on Her New Book ‘Independence’, Bengal, and Akshaya Patra on Chai with Manju

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BOSTON–Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author of the acclaimed book “Palace of Illusions” and many others, is back on Chai With Manju for the second time. This time after the release of her latest book “Independence” in both India and the United States.

In an exclusive video interview on Chai With Manju, Ms. Divakaruni talk about her book “Independence”,  which tells the story of India’s independence through the eyes of three sisters.

In addition, Ms. Divakaruni, who will be the keynote speaker at the Akshaya Patra’s annual Boston gala on Sunday, May 21st, 2023, at 6:00 pm at the Marriott Burlington Hotel in Burlington, MA, discusses Bengal and the work done by Akshaya Patra in India.

To watch the full interview, please click here, or on the image below.

In addition to being an award-winning and bestselling author, Ms. Divakaruni is a poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, the O.Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them have been used for campus-wide and city-wide reads. Several of her works have been made into films and plays, according to her official bio.

She lives in Houston with her husband Murthy and has two sons, Anand and Abhay. She loves to connect with readers on her Facebook page and on Twitter (@cdivakaruni).

Born in Kolkata, India, Ms. Divakaruni came to the United States for her graduate studies, receiving a Master’s degree in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ms. Divakaruni teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston, where she is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Creative Writing. She serves on the Advisory board of Maitri in the San Francisco Bay Area and Daya in Houston. Both are organizations that help South Asian or South Asian American women who find themselves in abusive or domestic violence situations. She served on the board of Pratham, an organization that helps educate underprivileged children in India, for many years and is currently on their emeritus board.

Ms. Divakaruni has judged several prestigious awards, such as the National Book Award and the PEN Faulkner Award. She is, herself, the winner of a number of awards, including the American Book Award.

Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges (an English film) and Suhasini Mani Ratnam (a Tamil TV serial) respectively. A short story, “The Word Love,” from her collection Arranged Marriage, was made into a bilingual short film in Bengali and English, titled Ammar Ma.


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