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 BBC, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Hindustan Times, Newsday, The Hindu, India Today, New Indian Express, The Telegraph,, Bookriot and other major publications describe it as a  MUST-READ BOOK. The New York Times recommends it in its  NEW AND NOTED books.

what's NEW...

Chitra Divakaruni’s new novel, The Forest of Enchantments, based on the Indian epic The Ramayan, which she re-tells from the point of the main female character, Sita, will be published in India in January 2019 by Harper-Collins.

Divakaruni will travel to India for the book release and will do Author Events in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hyderabad. Dates and event details for each of the cities are listed in Upcoming Events.

Below is the link to an essay by Divakaruni on what this book—and the character of Sita—means to her:

THE U.S. and Indian paperbacks of Chitra Divakaruni's  latest  novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, about the deep and complicated bond between mothers and daughters in India and America, are now available. Amazon is having a sale on both the U.S. paperback and the hardcover here.

Read an excerpt. Watch a video of Chitra's talk on Goddess at Google Headquarters

Order the U.S. paperback via: Indiebooks,  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million.

Before We Visit the Goddess is now available in paperback in India, where it has been a NATIONAL BESTSELLEROrder via Amazon India. Order via Flipkart. Scroll down for other buying links.

BOOK CLUBS: A Reading Guide is available here.  Chitra is available to do online/video chats with book clubs as time permits. Please email her at

Publicity Contact in USA: Sarah Reidy • In India: Bharti Taneja •

For speaking engagements, contact Dawn Stuart of Books in Common:


The daughter of a poor sweet-maker in rural Bengal, India, Sabitri yearns to get an education. However, her family’s situation makes college an impossible dream. Then an influential woman from Kolkata takes Sabitri under her wing, but her generosity curdles after a single, unforgiveable misstep. Years later, Sabitri’s daughter, Bela, haunted by her mother’s choices, flees to America with her political refugee lover, only to find the country—and love—vastly different from her imaginings. Forced to forge her own path, Bela unwittingly imprints her own child, Tara, with dangerous lessons about adulthood that will take a lifetime to unlearn.

In her latest novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, and the different kinds of love that bind us across generations. Before We Visit the Goddess captures the gorgeous complexity of these multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, sweeping across the twentieth century from the countryside of Bengal, India, to the streets of Houston, Texas—an extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of male and female voices.


  • I will never forget Sabitri, Bela, and Tara: grandmother, mother, and daughter after my own heart. Chitra Divakaruni cycles through generations of time, until we come to know our ancestresses - and the goddess. A lovely book.
    — Maxine Hong Kingston, author of "The Woman Warrior" & "China Men"
  • The always enchanting and enlightening Divakaruni spins another silken yet tensile saga about the lives of women in India and as immigrants in America…Divakaruni’s gracefully insightful, dazzlingly descriptive, and covertly stinging tale illuminates the opposition women must confront, generation by generation, as they seek both independence and connection.
    — Booklist Starred Review
  • Tender, bittersweet, beautifully wrought tales about love and longing, exile and loneliness. I was reminded of the songs of separation sung by Bhojpuri women: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni discovers new nuances in the ‘biraha’ that creeps into the lives of migrants.
    — Amitav Ghosh, author of "The Glass Palace" and "Sea of Poppies"
  • Ms. Divakaruni is a transparent and emotionally accessible writer, and she balances the ache of separation with the thrills of independence and self-discovery. “Inside loss there can be gain, too,” Bela discovers, and many of these bittersweet stories show the women finding intangible connections to each other, through traditional food or forms of worship (in the sensitively written title chapter the thoroughly irreligious Tara visits a Hindu temple in Houston). . . . . [Divakaruni's] characteristic passion, nerve and insight into the troubled soul are here in full.
    — The Wall Street Journal