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“Not only a captivating read but also a testament to the redeeming power of human love and connection,” Good Times, Santa Cruz.
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.
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.
Chitra teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.