Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide

By Guiyou Huang | Go to book overview

BHARATI MUKHERJEE (1940-)

Leela Kapai


♦ BIOGRAPHY

Bharati Mukherjee was born on July 27, 1940, in Calcutta to Sudhir Lal and Bina Mukherjee. Her childhood was spent in a traditional Brahmin extended family where members of several generations lived together. Her father's business took the family abroad in 1948, giving his children an occasion to be schooled in England and then in Switzerland. On their return to India, Bharati Mukherjee attended the Loretto Convent School in Calcutta where she received a good grounding in English and Western thought. She earned a B.A. in English Honors from Calcutta University in 1959 and an M.A. in English and ancient Indian culture from Baroda University in 1961.

Mukherjee's upbringing had a tremendous influence on her development as a writer. In fact, the lack of privacy in her household during her early childhood turned her into an avid reader, for the books provided an escape for a shy girl. Long before she was ten, she knew she was going to be a writer. Traditional families like the Mukherjees would not have dreamed of sending girls to college, let alone sending them across the seas to a foreign land. However, breaking with tradition, her parents sent their three daughters to the United States for further education. For once, being a female worked to her advantage when she decided to be a writer. A son of the family would have been expected to choose a useful occupation, but since she was not being groomed for a career, she was allowed to enroll in the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa to get an M.F.A. in creative writing. She was expected to return, after getting her degree, to get married. As it turned out, after she received her M.F.A degree, she stayed on to earn a Ph.D. in 1969.

It was in Iowa that Mukherjee met and married Clark Blaise, a fellow Ca-

-203-

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Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - The Asian American Short Story—the Cases of Sui Sin Far, Yamamoto, and Penaranda xiii
  • Peter Bacho (1950-) 1
  • Himani Bannerji (1942-) 5
  • Susham Bedi (1945-) 11
  • Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (1947-) 17
  • Carlos Bulosan (1911-1956) 23
  • Jeffery Paul Chan (1942-) 31
  • G.S.Sharat Chandra (1938-2000) 39
  • Diana Chang (1934-) 45
  • Frank Chin (1940-) 51
  • Susan Choi (1969-) 61
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (1956-) 65
  • Sui Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton) (1865-1914) 73
  • Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) 85
  • Jessica Hagedorn (1949-) 93
  • Gish Jen (1956-) 101
  • Ha Jin (1956-) 109
  • Lonny Kaneko (1939-) 115
  • Alex Kuo (1939-) 119
  • Jhumpa Lahiri (1967-) 125
  • Andrew Lam (1963-) 135
  • Evelyn Lau (1971-) 141
  • Chang-Rae Lee (1965-) 147
  • Don Lee (1959-) 151
  • Monfoon Leong (1916-1964) 155
  • Russell Leong (1950-) 159
  • Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (1944-) 167
  • David Wong Louie (1954-) 173
  • Darrell H.Y.Lum (1950-) 177
  • Rohinton Mistry (1952-) 183
  • Shani Mootoo (1958-) 189
  • Toshio Mori (1910-1980) 195
  • Bharati Mukherjee (1940-) 203
  • Fae Myenne Ng (1956-) 215
  • Hualing Nieh (1925-) 225
  • Susan Nunes (1943-) 237
  • Gary Pak (1952-) 243
  • Ty Pak (1938-) 251
  • Nahid Rachlin (1947-) 257
  • Raja Rao (1908-) 263
  • Patsy Sumie Saiki (1915-) 269
  • Bienvenido N. Santos (1911-1996) 273
  • Kathleen Tyau (1947-) 281
  • JosÉ Garcia Villa (1908-1997) 287
  • Sylvia A.Watanabe (1953-) 295
  • Hisaye Yamamoto (Desoto) (1921-) 303
  • Lois-Ann Yamanaka (1961-) 317
  • Karen Tei Yamashita (1951-) 327
  • Wakako Yamauchi (1924-) 333
  • John Yau (1950-) 337
  • Selected Bibliography 345
  • Index 349
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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