Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the author of sixteen books, including Oleander Girl, The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Palace of Illusions, One Amazing Thing, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times, and has won, among other prizes, an American Book Award. Born in India, she currently lives in Texas and is the McDavid professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
"I will never forget Sabitri, Bela, and Tara: grandmother, mother,
and daughter after my own heart. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni cycles
through generations of time, until we come to know our
ancestresses--and the goddess. A lovely book."
--Maxine Hong Kingston, author of I Love a Broad Margin to My Life
"Before We Visit the Goddess is full of different voices, going back and forth in time, with beautifully written chapters that could stand on their own as short stories but add layer upon layer of complication, wonder, humanity and empathy when joined together...Divakaruni builds her female characters as multidimensional -- highly complex, intelligent and nobody's doormat... Divakaruni guides us along their journeys with beautiful writing, surprising laughter and a truly memorable ending...I can't recommend this book enough. When it comes to fiction, Divakaruni is a new goddess on the Texas landscape."--The Austin American Statesman
"Divakaruni elegantly leads the reader through the twists and turns of life given the complications of culture, family expectations, and words left unsaid...the writing was crisp and clear. The characters were realistic and the dialogue believable. The story explores the dynamics of mothers and daughters caught in the cross-hairs of cultural and generation differences, as well as the complications of expectations, believed or real...Before We Visit the Goddess will leave the reader wondering about the relationship they have with their parents and what should be said before it is too late."--The Portland Book Review
"The best storytellers always keep you coming back. They have their unique signatures, a unique voice, that enchants the reader and draws them back to listen to one story, then the next and then the one after that. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is one such masterful story smith. I am done with reading Before We Visit The Goddess for now, but I keep thinking about the characters, and I know that a re-reading is in store for the future." --The Reading Desk
"[Divakaruni is] one of my favorite recent discoveries. Before We Visit the Goddess is full of different voices, going back and forth in time, with beautifully written chapters that could stand on their own as short stories but add layer upon layer of complication, wonder, humanity and empathy when joined together."--Austin 360
"An extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of male and female voices." --Indo American News
"There are few writers who get the setting, characters and story pitch perfect, like Divakaruni does, every single time. Before We Visit the Goddess is no exception. Brilliantly magical, lyrical and powerful, it is in keeping with the tradition Divakaruni has made of capturing the Kolkata spirit and the strength of its women. A richly woven tapestry of three generations of ancestresses, goddesses and women... Divakaruni's finest work yet, given its polished writing and intense, passionate characters."--India Today