Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Biography

Posted by | Vishnu Das on | July 5, 2024

Date of Birth

29 / July / 1956


68 Years


Poet, Writer, Lecturer

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, born on July 29, 1956, is celebrated as a poet, writer, and lecturer renowned for her evocative literary works. Her compelling storytelling delves into themes of cultural identity, immigration, and women’s experiences, resonating deeply with readers worldwide.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Height, Age, Husband, Children, Family, Biography

With a career spanning novels, short stories, poetry, and essays, Divakaruni has established herself as a prominent voice in contemporary literature, blending rich narratives with profound insights into the human condition.

Early Life

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born on July 29, 1956, in Kolkata, India, to Rajendra Kumar Banerjee, an accountant, and Tatini Banerjee, a school teacher. Growing up in Kolkata, she was influenced by her parents’ professions and their encouragement to pursue education.

Divakaruni moved to the United States for her higher studies, eventually earning a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her early life in India and transition to the U.S. provided a rich cultural backdrop that continues to inspire her writing, which often explores themes of cultural identity, immigration, and the complexities of human relationships.


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and a Master’s Degree from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, United States. She completed her academic journey with a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, solidifying her scholarly foundation for her illustrious career as a poet, writer, and lecturer.


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born on July 29, 1956 (Sunday), in Kolkata, West Bengal, under the zodiac sign of Leo. As of 2024, she is 68 years old and holds American nationality.

Physical Stats

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni stands approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall (165 cm) with captivating black eyes and matching black hair, adding to her distinctive presence as a renowned poet, writer, and lecturer.

Husband and Sons

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is married to Murthy, and they tied the knot on February 15, 1979. Together, they have sons named Anand and Abhay.


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s father is Rajendra Kumar Banerjee, an accountant, and her mother is Tatini Banerjee, a school teacher. Information about her siblings is not available.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Mother Tatini Banerjee

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Mother Tatini Banerjee

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni with her Husband and Sons

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni with her Husband and Sons


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s career as a prolific author and educator spans decades and is marked by a diverse body of work that includes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. After completing her PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, she began writing extensively on themes such as immigration, cultural identity, and women’s experiences, earning international acclaim for her evocative storytelling.

Divakaruni’s notable works include “The Mistress of Spices,” “Sister of My Heart,” and “The Palace of Illusions,” each showcasing her ability to weave compelling narratives rooted in Indian mythology and contemporary issues. Beyond writing, she is an esteemed lecturer and mentor, known for her insightful perspectives on literature and life.

Honors and Awards

Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Award (Arranged Marriage)

  • 2007 Distinguished Writer Award from the South Asian Literary Association
  • 2003 Pushcart Prize (The Lives of Strangers)
  • 1997 Pushcart Prize (Leaving Yuba City: New and Selected Poems)
  • 1996 PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award (Arranged Marriage)
  • 1996 American Book Award (Arranged Marriage)



  • Young adult and children’s
  • The Vine of Desire (2002)
  • The Unknown Errors of our Lives (2001)
  • The Palace of Illusions: A Novel (2008)
  • The Mistress of Spices (1997)
  • The Lives of Strangers (2007)
  • The Last Queen (2021)
  • The Forest of Enchantments (2019)[
  • Sister of My Heart (1999)
  • Queen of Dreams (2004)
  • One Amazing Thing (2010)
  • Oleander Girl (2013)[27]
  • Neela: Victory Song (2002)
  • Independence (2023)[31]
  • Before We Visit the Goddess (2016) [28]
  • Arranged Marriage: Stories (1995)
  • Grandma and the Great Gourd (2013) (children’s picture book)

Brotherhood of the Conch Series

  • The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (2005)
  • The Conch Bearer (2003)
  • Shadowland (2009)


  • The Reason for Nasturtiums, Berkeley (Berkeley Poets Workshop) 1990. ISBN 978-0-917658-28-0
  • Leaving Yuba City, St. Louis (Turtleback Books) 1997. ISBN 978-1-4177-1097-3[34]
  • Black Candle. Poems About Women from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Corvallis (Calyx Books) 1991. ISBN 978-0-934971-74-4

Net Worth

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s net worth is not publicly disclosed.

Some Lesser Known Facts About Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

  • Some of Chitra’s fictional novels include The Mistress of Spices (1997), Sister of My Heart (1999), Palace of Illusion (2008), Before We Visit a Goddess (2016), The Forest of Enchantments (2019), The Last Queen (2021), Independence (2022).
  • She worked as a lab assistant at Wright State University.
  • She worked as a dining hall assistant at the International House in Berkeley.
  • She started her career as a poet. Her volume of poetry includes Black Candle and Leaving Yuba City.
  • She is the founding member and president of Maitri India, a helpline for South Asian women that helps survivors of domestic violence.
  • She is an Indian American author, poet, and Betty and Gene McDavid professor of writing at the University of Houston creative writing program.
  • She has written novels of various genres like historical fiction, magical realism, realistic fiction, and fantasy.
  • She also worked as a teacher at Foothill College and Diablo Valley College.
  • In 2015, she was named as the 20 most influential Global Indian Women in the Economics Times.
  • In 2005, her novel The Mistress of Spices was adapted into a film starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
  • Her work has been translated into 30 different languages including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Hungarian, Turkish, Hindi, and Japanese.
  • Her stories have been made into films, plays, dance dramas, and performed at operas.
  • Her novel Sister of My Heart (1999) was adapted into a Tamil TV series Anbulla Snegithiye aired in India.
  • Divakaruni’s work has been published in many popular magazines like The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker.
  • Chitra while completing her graduation worked in many odd jobs like a babysitter, a store clerk, and as a bread slicer in a bakery.

Check Also: Narayan Sakar Hari

Body Measurements Not Known
Birth Place Kolkata, West Bengal
Children Son(s): Anand, Abhay
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Height In CM 165 CM
Height In Meter 1.65 M
Nationality American
Parents Father: Rajendra Kumar Banerjee, Mother: Tatini Banerjee
Profession Poet, Writer, Lecturer
Siblings Not Known
Spous Murthy
Weight Not Known
Zodiac Sign Leo


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