October 4, 2011
A Study on Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni:
and How Her Life Reflects on the Short Story “Clothes”
The very talented author and poet, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni wrote a collection of
short stories called Arranged Marriage. This is just one of her many award winning works.
Although, in the beginning she was not seeking to become a writer, she came here from India
to get an education and stayed. She still finds herself torn between two cultures and Chitra
says, “In my writing it comes up many times because I’m aware of other people whose entry
into America was even more diasporic than mine. And I write about them too; their stories are
important to me.” (qtd in Seschachari). In Arranged Marriage the short story “Clothes,” is one
of her works where her life reflects on the story. There are many things that led to Chitra
Banerjee Divakaruni to become a writer and this reflects in her work. In “Clothes,” she uses
color symbolism for the protagonist, Sumita, to grow from a girl, to a wife, and to a woman.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born in India in 1956 and resided there until 1976. At
the age of 19 she left Calcutta , India for an education and traveled to the United States, after
her extensive drive for an education in the field of English. She received her Masters in English
from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio at the age of 20 and she received her Doctorate
from the University of California at Berkley. She held many odd jobs for the satisfaction of the
end result. She currently lives in Texas with her husband Murthy and her two sons Arand and
Abhay. She teaches a creative writing class at Houston University and has taught at Diablo
College and Foothill College in California.
Chitra’s interest in women began when she left India, at which point she reevaluated
the treatment of the women...