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Bharati Mukherjee (July 27, 1940 – January 28, 2017) was an American writer and professor emerita in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bharati Mukherjee
Speaking at the US Ambassador's residence in Israel, June 11, 2004
Born (1940-07-27)July 27, 1940
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Died January 28, 2017(2017-01-28) (aged 76)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation Professor, novelist, essayist, short story writer, author, fiction writer, non-fiction writer
Nationality India, United States, Canada
Genre Novels, short stories, essays, travel literature, journalism.
Subjects Post-colonial Anglophone fiction, Asian American fiction, autobiographical narratives, memoirs, american culture, immigration history, reformation and nationhood in the '90s, multiculturalism vs. mongrelization, fiction writing, autobiography writing, and the form and theory of fiction.
Notable works Jasmine



Of Bengali origin, Mukherjee was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She later travelled with her parents to Europe after Independence, only returning to Calcutta in the early 1950s. There she attended the Loreto School. She received her B.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1959 as a student of Loreto College, and subsequently earned her M.A. from the University of Baroda in 1961. She next travelled to the United States to study at the University of Iowa. She received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1963 and her Ph.D. in 1969 from the department of Comparative Literature.

After more than a decade living in Montreal and Toronto in Canada, Mukherjee and her husband, Clark Blaise returned to the United States. She wrote of the decision in "An Invisible Woman," published in a 1981 issue of Saturday Night. Mukherjee and Blaise co-authored Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977). They also wrote the 1987 work, The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (Air India Flight 182).


In addition to writing numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, Mukherjee taught at McGill University, Skidmore College, Queens College, and City University of New York before joining Berkeley.

Mukherjee has gone on record that she considers herself an American writer, and not an Indian expatriate writer. In a 1989 interview with Ameena Meer, Mukherjee said: "I totally consider myself an American writer, and that has been my big battle: to get to realize that my roots as a writer are no longer, if they ever were, among Indian writers, but that I am writing about the territory about the feelings, of a new kind of pioneer here in America. I’m the first among Asian immigrants to be making this distinction between immigrant writing and expatriate writing. Most Indian writers prior to this, have still thought of themselves as Indians, and their literary inspiration, has come from India. India has been the source, and home. Whereas I’m saying, those are wonderful roots, but now my roots are here and my emotions are here in North America."[1]

Mukherjee died due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis and takotsubo cardiomyopathy on January 28, 2017 in Manhattan at the age of 76.[2] She was survived by her husband and son. Her other son, Bart, predeceased her in 2015.[3]



Short story collectionsEdit




See alsoEdit

Related NovelsEdit


  1. ^ Meer, Amanda Fall 1989, Retrieved May 20, 2013
  2. ^ "Novelist Bharati Mukherjee passes away". India Live Today. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Grimes, William (February 1, 2017). "Bharati Mukherjee, Writer of Immigrant Life, Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 

Further readingEdit

  • Abcarian, Richard and Marvin Klotz. "Bharati Mukherjee." In Literature: The Human Experience, 9th edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006: 1581–1582.
  • Alter, Stephen and Wimal Dissanayake (ed.). "Nostalgia by Bharati Mukherjee." The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Short Stories. New Delhi, Middlesex, New York: Penguin Books, 1991: 28–40.
  • Kerns-Rustomji, Roshni. "Bharati Mukherjee." In The Heath Anthology of American Literature, 5th edition, Vol. E. Paul Lauter and Richard Yarborough (eds.). New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006: 2693–2694.
  • Majithia, Sheetal. "Of Foreigners and Fetishes: A Reading of Recent South Asian American Fiction", Samar 14: The South Asian American Generation (Fall/Winter 2001): 52–53.
  • New, W. H., ed. "Bharati Mukerjee." In Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002: 763–764.
  • Selvadurai, Shyam (ed.). "Bharati Mukherjee: The Management of Grief." Story-Wallah: A Celebration of South Asian Fiction. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2005: 91–108.

External linksEdit