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First-Year Reading Program   Tags: half a life, one amazing thing, peace like a river, persepolis, the other wes moore  

This guide serves as a resource for the common text selected for first-year students
Last Updated: May 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

2013 Print Page

Featured Author: Chitra Divakaruni



From Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Website:

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet and teacher. Her themes include women, immigration, the South Asian experience, history, myth, magical realism and diversity.

She writes for adults and children. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese. Two novels, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into films. Her short stories, Arranged Marriage, won an American Book Award. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Chitra Divakaruni on writing:

Farmanfarmaian, Roxane. "Writing from a Different Place." Publishers Weekly 248, no. 20 (May 14, 2001): 46.

Johnson, Sarah Anne. "Writing Outside the Lines." Writer 117.3 (2004): 20-23.

Chitra Divakaruni on culture:

Divakaruni, Chitra. "Being Dark-Skinned in a Dark Time." Good Housekeeping 234.1 (2002): 89.

Kinsella, Bridget. "Being American in Today's World." Publishers Weekly 251.32 (2004): 229.


    About "One Amazing Thing"

    Late afternoon in an Indian visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers have come and gone, but nine people remain. A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A graduate student haunted by a question about love. An African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. A Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair.

    When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping these nine wildly individual characters together, their focus first jolts to a collective struggle to survive. There’s little food. The office begins to flood. Then, at a moment when the psychological and emotional stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, “one amazing thing” from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. As their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival—and about the reasons to survive.

    Visit Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Website to read Book Reviews and an excerpt from One Amazing Thing

    View the MARQCAT Record for this book.


    Author Discusses 'One Amazing Thing' at SacState


    Author Discusses "One Amazing Thing" at Houston Public Library

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