About Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Mostly writing and teaching. To make money for college, I worked in our college dining room.
Q. Favorite job
A. Apart from writing, my favorite job was in the dining room: cutting up jello
Q. High school and/or college
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Pandit Jasraj, an Indian classical singer
Q. Favorite movie
A. Lord of the Rings
Q. Favorite television show
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Writer, mother, teacher, reader, chocolate-lover, & sporadic cook.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Ancora Imparo--Still I am Learning (from Michelangelo)
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Peace of mind. And lots of dark chocolate that doesn't make you gain weight.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. That one day I'll get to my computer, and I won't be able to write anymore
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Right here
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. The Rani of Jhansi, an Indian freedom fighter
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. The Dalai Lama
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Amazing (I happen to find a lot of things amazing--maybe that's why my blog is titled Amazing Things))
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Nothing. Regret is a useless emotion
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Time travel--I could get a lot of fun novels out of that one.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My 2 sons (works in progress)
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I'm too careful with money--comes out of being poor for several years while growing up
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I appreciate all my blessings
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I like being myself. Maybe just slimmer, with a few less wrinkles.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. I like Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice. She has intelligence & spirit.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Gandhi. I would say, Thanks for those great quotes like Be the change you want to see. They've brought me tons of likes on Facebook. (No, seriously, I'd say, I've learned so much from your determination & courage).
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. I hate it when people throw away food--I've seen too many hungry people
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Bollywood dancing
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. This one, just with more bestsellers & awards and fans clamoring for me to autograph their bodies.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Integrity, hard work, calmness
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Imagine, Let It Be, Hotel California, any bhajans (spiritual songs) by M.S. Subbulakshmi, sacred Sanskrit chants
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anita Desai, Maya Angelou
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Anna Karenina, Nastaneer or The Broken Nest, The Lord of the Rings, Clear Light of Day and I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. All the books listed above, plus Kafka's short story The Metamorphosis.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Read widely, write regularly, revise often.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. I love your books because I can relate to the characters.