CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 20, 2002
Bharati Mukherjee reads from acclaimed new novel April 1
Mukherjee, a graduate and former faculty member of the University of Iowa
Writers' Workshop, will read from her new novel, "Desirable Daughters,"
at 8 p.m. Monday, April 1 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque
St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will be broadcast on the "Live
from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM
910. Listen on the internet at < http://wsui.uiowa.edu/ >.
"Desirable Daughters" follows the diverging paths taken by three
sisters born into a wealthy Brahmin family in Calcutta, India. Constrained
by a society with little regard for women, each of the three intelligent and
artistic girls rebels in her own way, leading them to three different continents
as the strength of their relationship survives.
A Publishers Weekly review concluded, "It should take nothing away
from the achievements of new young writers of South Asian origin to state
that Mukherjee eclipses all of them in her new novel, the highlight of her
career to date. Only a writer with mature vision, a sense of history and a
long-nurtured observation of the Indo-American community could have created
this absorbing tale of two rapidly changing cultures and the flash points
where they intersect
Mukherjee has always been considered a significant
writer. Here she bursts out as a star."
Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, also a UI alumnus, wrote, "
In a world increasingly challenged and defined by the collision of cultures,
the collision of past ways and present ways, Mukherjee is writing achingly
compassionate, ravishingly beautiful, absolutely essential books. And 'Desirable
Daughters' is one of her best."
Mukherjee, who has been called "the Grande Dame of diasporic Indian
literature," won the National Book Critics' Circle Award for best fiction
for "The Middleman And Other Stories." Her other works of fiction
include "The Tiger's Daughter," "Jasmine," "Leave
It to Me" and "The Holder Of The World."
She has collaborated with her husband, UI alumnus and emeritus professor
Clark Blaise, former director of the UI International Writing Program, on
the non-fiction books "Days and Nights in Calcutta" and "The
Sorrow and the Terror." She is professor of English at the University
of California at Berkeley.
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