Before We Visit the Goddess captures the gorgeous complexity of multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, sweeping across the twentieth century from the countryside of Bengal, India, to the streets of Houston, Texas - an extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of voices.
A classic work of magical realism, this bestselling novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni tells the story of Tilo, a young woman from another time who has a gift for the mystical art of spices. Now immortal, and living in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman, Tilo has set up shop in Oakland, California, where she administers curatives to her customers. But when she's surprised by an unexpected romance with a handsome stranger, she must choose between everlasting life and the vicissitudes of modern society. Spellbinding and hypnotizing, The Mistress of Spices is a tale of joy, sorrow, and one special woman's magical powers.
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 the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller 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.
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.
Set during the partition of British India in 1947, a time when neighbor was pitted against neighbor and families were torn apart, award-winning author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni''s novel brings to life the sweeping story of three sisters caught up in events beyond their control, their unbreakable bond, and their incredible struggle against powerful odds.
India, 1947.In a rural village in Bengal live three sisters, daughters of a well-respected doctor.Priya: intelligent and idealistic, resolved to follow in her father''s footsteps and become a doctor, though society frowns on it.Deepa: the beauty, determined to make a marriage that will bring her family joy and status.Jamini: devout, sharp-eyed, and a talented quiltmaker, with deeper passions than she reveals.Theirs is a home of love and safety, a refuge from the violent events taking shape in the nation. Then their father is killed during a riot, and even their neighbors turn against them, bringing the events of their country closer to home. As Priya determinedly pursues her career goal, Deepa falls deeply in love with a Muslim, causing her to break with her family. And Jamini attempts to hold her family together, even as she secretly longs for her sister''s fianceWhen the partition of India is officially decided, a drastic--and dangerous--change is in the air. India is now for Hindus, Pakistan for Muslims. The sisters find themselves separated from one another, each on different paths. They fear for what will happen to not just themselves, but each other.Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni outdoes herself with this deeply moving story of sisterhood and friendship, painting an account of India''s independence simultaneously exhilarating and devastating, that will make any reader--new or old--a devoted fan.
In this dazzling historical novel, bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni presents the unforgettable true story of Jindan, who rose from daughter of the royal kennel keeper to become the last reigning queen of India''s Sikh Empire. 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, unexpected rose to the throne, Jindan assumed the regency, transforming herself into a warrior ruler, determined to protect her people and her son''s heritage from the encroaching British Empire. Defying tradition, she stepped out of the zenana, cast aside the veil and conducted state business in public. Addressing her Khalsa troops herself, she inspired her men in two wars against the ''firangs''. Her power and influence were so formidable that the British, fearing an uprising, robbed the rebel queen of everything she had, including her son. She was imprisoned and exiled. But that did not crush her indomitable will.An exquisite love story of a king and a commoner, a cautionary tale about loyalty and betrayal, and a powerful parable of the indestructible bond between mother and child, 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, an inspiration for our times.
Lorsqu´un tremblement de terre survient, neuf personnes se retrouvent emprisonnées dans le sous-sol du consulat indien d´une ville américaine. S´ensuivent de longues heures d´attente et d´angoisse. Les maigres provisions qu´elles ontrassemblées s´épuisent, l´air se raréfie, l´eau commence à monter dans leur refuge, des craquements sinistres leur font craindre un nouvel effondrement... C´est alors qu´Uma - une étudiante en littérature - songe à utiliser le pouvoir de la parole pour les aider à vaincre leur angoisse. Elle suggère que chacun d´eux raconte, à tour de rôle, une histoire, une « chose extraordinaire » qui leur est arrivée et qu´ils n´ont jamais confiée à personne...