Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist, and teacher of writing. She is the author of seventeen books (fiction and poetry) for children as well as adult readers. Her most recent books are Oleander Girl (2013) and One Amazing Thing (2010). Her work has been published in over fifty magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over fifty anthologies. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali and Japanese, and several of them have been bestsellers both nationally and internationally.

Divakaruni has judged several prestigious national awards, such as the National Book Award and the PEN Faulkner Award. She is the winner of an American Book Award, a Light of India Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Award, a South Asian Literature Association Lifetime Award, an Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, a Barbara Deming Memorial Award and two Pushcart Prizes, among others. Her latest novel One Amazing Thing was the 2011 choice for Gulf Coast Reads, a Houston Region One Book program. Since then, it has been selected for One Book programs by numerous universities and cities across the USA, and has recently been optioned for film. Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies. Her short story “The Word Love” was made into an award-winning bilingual short film titled Amar Ma.

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, and lives in Houston with her husband Murthy and her two sons, Anand and Abhay. Her website is, and her Facebook Author page is