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Bharati Mukherjee Biography

(1940– ), Jasmine, The Tiger's Daughter, Wife, Days and Nights in Calcutta

american indian stories calcutta

American novelistand short-story writer, born in Calcutta, educated at the universities of Calcutta, Baroda, and Iowa, where she obtained her doctorate in 1969. She has held many academic appointments including a professorship at the University of California at Berkeley. Of Bengali background herself, Mukherjee's stories and novels, which often employ shock tactics, focus on the experience of immigrants from the Indian sub-continent in America, emphasizing the fractured, disorientated, and insecure nature of their lives. Her third novel, Jasmine (1989), chronicles the odyssey of Jasmine Vijh; widowed at 17, she flees her constricted Indian village to emigrate to America, where she eventually marries a middle-aged banker in Iowa, and adopts a Vietnamese refugee, her name metamorphosed into Jane Ripplemeyer. Other novels include The Tiger's Daughter (1972) and Wife (1975). Together with her husband, Canadian writer Clark Blaise, she also wrote Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977), which records their stay there for over a year. The Middleman and Other Stories (1988) won the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recent novel, The Holder of the World (1993), attempts a feminist reworking of romantic historical formulae, intertwining the stories of two American women: one reaches a position of power in Mogul India: the other, married to an Indian, researches her life several centuries later. See also Asian-American Literature.

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about 5 years ago

jasmine