From the Houston Public Library’s press release:

Enjoy a fun afternoon with award-winning author Chitra Divakaruni, best known for her novel “Mistress of Spices,” which was also made into a movie. Divakaruni will be discussing her latest novel, “One Amazing Thing,” at the Houston Public Library’s Central Library on Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 2 PM. The Central Library is located at 500 McKinney, 77002, 832-393-1313. This event is part of the Library’s “An Evening with…” author series. The community is invited to meet and greet the author. The program is free and open to the public.

About the Book, “One Amazing Thing”

Late afternoon sun sneaks through the windows of a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and even most office workers 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 characters together, their focus first jolts to their 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. And 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. – Publishers Description

About the Author Chitra Divakaruni

Divakaruni was born in India and lived there until 1976. She came to the United States to continue her education and received a Masters from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston. Divakaruni has written several books, both for adults and children, including “The Palace of Illusions,” which is currently one of the selected titles for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Her works have been published in over 50 magazines, including the “Atlantic Monthly” and “The New Yorker.” Several of her works have also been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese. Two of her books, “The Mistress of Spices” and “Sister of My Heart,” were made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges (an English film) and Suhasini Mani Ratnam (a Tamil TV serial) respectively. Divakaruni lives in Houston with her husband Murthy, her two sons Anand and Abhay (whose names she has used in her children’s novels) and Juno, the family dog.

About “An Evening with…” Author Series

“An Evening With…” is an ongoing author series where Library customers meet nationally-known authors from several genres. Monthly and semi-monthly events are held throughout the city at different Houston Public Library locations. Authors read from one (or several) of their books, answer audience questions, and talk about what inspires their writing.

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