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Programs 2006

American Author Bharati Mukherjee in Istanbul

October 29-30, 2006

Bharati Mukherjee made an appearance at the Istanbul Book Fair where she talked about her development as a writer, and her assessment of the impact of 9/11 on the American novel today. The author also gave interviews to several TV channels.

Mukherjee also met with students and Faculty members at Istanbul University, Department of English Language and Literature.

Of Bengali origin, Mukherjee was born in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. She later traveled with her parents to Europe after Independence, only returning to Calcutta in the early 1950s. She received her B.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1959 and her M.A. from the University of Baroda in 1961. She next traveled to the United States to study at the University of Iowa. She received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1963 and her Ph.D. in 1969 from the department of Comparative Literature.

Mukherjee married writer Clark Blaise in 1963. Together they have written two works of non-fiction, Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977) and The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (1987). After more than a decade living in Canada, Mukherjee, Blaise, and their children returned to the United States. Mukherjee wrote of the decision in "An Invisible Woman", published in a 1981 issue of Saturday Night.

Mukherjee has taught at McGill University, Skidmore College, Queens College, and City University of New York.

An early and popular work of fiction is Jasmine 1989. In this novel, a young Indian woman becomes an illegal immigrant to the United States and acculturates by taking on a series of different identities.

Mukherjee strives in her novels to understand what is meant by the idea of an American identity, and whether in a world of hybridity and multiplicity, such a notion can exist. This is particularly evident in her more recent works The Holder of the World (1993) and Leave It to Me (1997). Her latest novel is The Tree Bride, (2004).

Mukerjee is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Tiger's Daughter (1971)
Wife (1975)
Jasmine (1989)
The Holder of the World (1993)
Leave It to Me (1997)
Desirable Daughters (2002)
The Tree Bride (2004)
Short stories
Darkness (1985)
The Middleman and Other Stories (1988)
Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977, with Clark Blaise)

The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (1987, with Clark Blaise)