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Sister of My Heart
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
038548951X
Jan 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni made an indelible impression on the literary world with her first novel, The Mistress of Spices, a magical tale of love and herbs. Sister of My Heart is less reliant on enchantment but no less enchanting as it tells the tale of two cousins born on the same day, their premature births brought on by a mysterious occurrence that claims the lives of both their fathers. Sudha is beautiful, Anju is not; yet the girls love each other as sisters, the bond between them so strong it seems nothing can break it. When both are pushed into arranged marriages, however, each discovers a devastating secret that changes their relationship forever.

Sister of My Heart spans many years and zigzags between India and America as the cousins first grow apart and then eventually reunite. Divakaruni invests this...



The Conch Bearer
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0689872429
Mar 2005
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Anand's compassionate gesture of sharing his tea with an old man in a Calcutta market leads to radical changes in the 12-year-old's life. The stranger is a member of the Brotherhood of Healers and invites the boy to join him on a dangerous journey to return a magical conch shell to its proper home in the far-off Himalayas. Along with Nisha, a sweeper-girl who insists on joining them, Anand and Abhaydatta travel to the mountains pursued by the evil Surabhanu, a power-hungry ex-member of the brotherhood. Anand struggles in his own mind, doubting Abhaydatta's motives and the existence of magic, jealous of Nisha's comfortable relationship with the old man, and occasionally succumbing to Surabhanu's tempting illusions. When he finally reaches the Silver Valley, more challenges await him before he can...


The Vine of Desire
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
038549730X
February 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
The Vine of Desire is peopled by Indian immigrants and--just as palpably--by their hopes and dreams. As one character says, "All immigrants are dreamers, but they're practical about it. They know what's OK to dream about, and what isn't." Though it's a sequel to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Sister of My Heart, the novel stands alone as an exploration of the contemporary immigrant experience. Anju and Sudha, cousins and best friends since their Calcutta girlhood, find themselves in the Bay Area, Anju with a husband and Sudha with a baby daughter. Each covets what the other has until finally their relationship collapses. Anju finds solace among her fellow Berkeley students, while the beautiful Sudha learns, for the first time, what it's like to pay her own way. Digressive and overwritten, The Vine of Desire can try your...


Queen of Dreams
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
1400030447
Oct 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Spiked with elements of mystery, suspense and the supernatural, Divakaruni's sixth novel is a pleasantly atypical tale of self-discovery. Rakhi, a single mother and struggling artist living in Berkeley, Calif., has always been vaguely aware of her own mother's unusual gift—the ability to interpret dreams. Between juggling a laundry list of other priorities—keeping her floundering tea shop afloat after a Starbucks-esque supercafe moves in across the street, battling her ex-husband for their daughter's affections, finding her artistic voice—Rakhi longs to know more about her mother's past and her own hazy Indian heritage. After a mysterious car accident claims her mother's life, Rakhi, with her father's help, sets out to decipher Mrs. Gupta's dream journals in hopes of unlocking the secrets of her...


We, Too, Sing America
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0070170843
Sept 1997
Paperback
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Book Description
Divided into ten thematic sections, this freshman reader illuminates the ways in which lives connect in spite of the differences that derive from ethnicity, community, age, class, or gender. Contemporary and deeply involving for all students, these sections move from simple to more sophisticated concepts, for example from the issues surrounding family to language to identity. Each reading was carefully selected to expose students to lifestyles, values, concerns, and problems different from their own, while encouraging them to make meaningful contributions to class discussions and in their written assignments.


Multitude
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
007017086X
Oct 1996
Paperback
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Book Description
Known for its upbeat approach, MULTITUDE brings together a diverse spectrum of voices and issues that reflect our society. This anthology is divided into 10 broad themes and provides a variety of perspectives on the ways people connect across boundaries of ethnicity, class, gender, age, and geography. The 84 readings include essays, student essays, fiction, poetry, letters, and journals and includes a diversity of lengths and difficulty. The second edition features 40% new selections and more writing activities and assignments that incorporate collaboration and research.


The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0307282384
Sept 2005
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
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Book Review
The boy magician Anand, his sassy partner Nisha, and their beloved teacher Abhaydatta reunite for a new adventure in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's second installment of her folkloric Indian fantasy series, The Brotherhood of the Conch. Anand, having discovered his vocation as Keeper of the Conch, now lives in the Himalayan Silver Valley, where he is training to become a Healer in the Brotherhood. While practicing the art of far-seeing, Anand receives a vision of a terrified wise-woman, pleading for help. Devastated by Master Abhaydatta's decision to leave him behind while he goes to the woman's aid, Anand convinces the conch to create a magic portal that he and Nisha can use to suddenly appear by Abhaydatta's side. Unfortunately, during the metaphysical hurtle, Anand is separated from Nisha and the conch and thrown...


The Mistress of Spices
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0385482388
Feb 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
On a mythic island of women "where on our skin, the warm rain fell like pomegranate seeds" powerful spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and fenugreek whisper their secrets to young acolytes. Ordained after trial by fire, each new spice mistress is sent to a far-off land to cure the life pains of all Indian seekers, while keeping a cool distance from the mortals. Only stubborn, passionate Tilo, disguised as an old woman merchant in present-day Oakland, California, fails to heed the vengeful spices' warnings. Fragrant with spice and sensuality, this winning tale rolls off the tongue. Written in the soaring, poetic tradition of China Men and Haroun and the Sea of Stories. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
Divakaruni,...


The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (The Brotherhood of the Conch Series, #2)
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
1596430672
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
The boy magician Anand, his sassy partner Nisha, and their beloved teacher Abhaydatta reunite for a new adventure in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's second installment of her folkloric Indian fantasy series, The Brotherhood of the Conch. Anand, having discovered his vocation as Keeper of the Conch, now lives in the Himalayan Silver Valley, where he is training to become a Healer in the Brotherhood. While practicing the art of far-seeing, Anand receives a vision of a terrified wise-woman, pleading for help. Devastated by Master Abhaydatta's decision to leave him behind while he goes to the woman's aid, Anand convinces the conch to create a magic portal that he and Nisha can use to suddenly appear by Abhaydatta's side. Unfortunately, during the metaphysical hurtle, Anand is separated from Nisha and the conch and thrown...


Arranged Marriage
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0385483503
May 1996
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Poet Divakaruni, who was born in India and now teaches in America, makes her fiction debut with 11 stories about transformation and immigration. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
YA?Most of the 11 women featured in this book live either in India or in the U.S. with husbands chosen for them by their families. Although the stories read like tiny soap operas, there is an appealing pathos to each woman's struggle with a traditional approach to marriage as well as to many men's struggles to survive financially. A theme that runs through all the selections is that once brought up in the tradition, it is difficult to change one's mind-set even as an accommodation to a new culture. For example, Sumita is ecstatic that her new husband is...


Leaving Yuba City
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0385488548
July 1997
Paperback
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From Library Journal
With beauty and sensitivity, this third collection of poems from Divakaruni, whose recent fiction includes The Mistress of Spices (Anchor, 1997), guides the reader through stories of immigration, changing traditions, and family violence. In "How I Became a Writer," a mother teaches her daughter to write. The tools are cement and chalk, and her mother is bruised, but her protective shadow "velvets the bare ground." From these nurturing scenes on a barren landscape, a writer is born. It is emblematic of Divakaruni's work that she connects personal experience with cultural history in a soft but powerful voice. The section "Yuba City Poems," for instance, offers a glimpse into the hearts of immigrant men who learn that their wives in India may never rejoin them. Though she is part of a current wave of Indian writers,...


The Unknown Errors of Our Lives
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0385497288
Jan 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The female protagonists of eight of the nine stories in Divakaruni's sensuously evocative new collection are caught between the beliefs and traditions of their Indian heritage and those of their, or their children's, new homeland, America. Nowhere is this dichotomy of cultures so well evoked as in the title story, in which Divakaruni's gift for writing image-filled prose illuminates Berkeley resident Ruchira's gift for painting mythic figures from Indian legends, and poignantly underscores a very contemporary marriage dilemma, which Ruchira solves by intuiting her dead grandmother's advice. Equally excellent is "The Names of Stars in Bengali," the beautifully nuanced story of a San Francisco wife and mother who returns to her native village in India to visit her mother, in which each understands afresh the...


Queen of Dreams
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
0385506821
September 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Spiked with elements of mystery, suspense and the supernatural, Divakaruni's sixth novel is a pleasantly atypical tale of self-discovery. Rakhi, a single mother and struggling artist living in Berkeley, Calif., has always been vaguely aware of her own mother's unusual gift—the ability to interpret dreams. Between juggling a laundry list of other priorities—keeping her floundering tea shop afloat after a Starbucks-esque supercafe moves in across the street, battling her ex-husband for their daughter's affections, finding her artistic voice—Rakhi longs to know more about her mother's past and her own hazy Indian heritage. After a mysterious car accident claims her mother's life, Rakhi, with her father's help, sets out to decipher Mrs. Gupta's dream journals in hopes of unlocking the secrets of her...

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