Dr. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist and professor. She is the author of 20 books including Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Oleander Girl, Before We Visit the Goddess and Palace of Illusions. Her latest novels are The Forest of Enchantments, a feminist retelling of the epic The Ramayana in the voice of Sita, and The Last Queen, the story of Maharani Jindan, the indomitable queen regent of Punjab who fought the British in many ingenious ways. Divakaruni often writes about contemporary life in America and India, women’s experiences, immigration, history, magical realism and mythology.
Her awards include, among others, an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles award, a Premio Scanno (also known as the Italian Nobel) award, a Light of India award, a SALA award, 2 Pushcart prizes, an Allen Ginsberg poetry award, a Rona Jaffe Award, a Barbara Deming Memorial Award, and a Houston Literary Award. In 2022, The Last Queen received the Times of India Best Fiction Award and the Best Book Award from The International Association of Working Women.
Two books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies. Several others are under option in Hollywood and in India. Her short story “The Word Love,” was made into an award-winning short film, Amaar Ma. Arranged Marriage has been made into a play and performed in both USA and Canada. Palace of Illusions has been performed on the stage in USA and India. Mistress of Spices is in the process of being made into an opera. Her novel One Amazing Thing has been chosen as a city-wide or campus-wide read in over 36 cities and institutions across the U.S.