Wednesday, April 21, 2010

India bound, on a visa and a whim

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni tells FYI how being stuck on a freeway when hurricane Katrina struck Houston, made her pick up the pen to write One Amazing Thing

Never mind the author-of-fifteen-books tag, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni isn't the sort to boast, especially when it comes to her familiarity with the Indian diaspora.

Ask her how she manages to write about the community sans stereotypes and she does so with humility. "That's because I'm living the diasporic life myself.

The Indian immigrant experience is multifaceted. The 1960s immigrant's experience is very different from the contemporary immigrant's experience," she explains, in an email interview from the US.One Amazing Thing's underlying theme looks at people's reactions when faced with death and how a community emerges from disaster, which was where Chitra's personal experiences steered the plot.

"We had to evacuate my hometown, Houston, in 2005 when Hurricane Rita approached the city.

Stuck in a huge traffic jam on the Freeway I experienced panic, among a range of other emotions. I wanted to explore those feelings further and it was from that, that One Amazing Thing was born."

Full report here Mid-day

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