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The Romance Of Rani Jindan —The Last Queen By Chitra Divakaruni

The more experienced writers are aware that the hardest thing to do is to write without trying to be clever. 

Some writers are born to coruscating prose. And then there are those who can entertain readers without having to use words like...coruscating.

My guest today—Chitra Divakaruni— is such a writer.

Reading Chitra is like traveling in a car with an excellent suspension—you don’t feel the potholes. Or maybe that’s because there are no potholes in her prose.

Her writing is not only honest, sincere and without artifice, but also vivid. So vivid that film makers seem to be falling about making movies out of everything she writes. The Mistress Of Spices—starring Dylan McDermott and Aishwarya Rai—is one famous example. Sister Of My Heart was turned into a TV show in Tamil called Anbulla Snegitheiye (Beloved Friend).

Her stories have been turned into movies, plays, even opera.

To say that Chitra Divakaruni’s prose is romantic or evocative is to fall to spewing platitudes. 

What any writer, critic or serious reader of books needs to understand is that Chitra's consistently good writing comes from craft not from a random muse.

For that qualification, she is a professor at Houston University teaching creative writing.

Her most recent book The Last Queen is a historical account of Rani Jindan, wife of then Maharaja of Punjab, Ranjit Singh and mother of the next Maharaja, Dalip Singh. The book may be categorized as historical fiction but the fiction is in the gaps of the story. The historical account is rich and—I’ll say it—evocative.

And now it is my pleasure to present one of the best known Indian writers Chitra Divakaruni.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist and teacher. She is the author of 20 books including Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Oleander Girl, Before We Visit the Goddess and Palace of Illusions. Her latest novels are The Forest of Enchantments, a feminist retelling of the epic The Ramayana in the voice of Sita, and The Last Queen, the story of Maharani Jindan, the indomitable queen regent of Punjab who fought the British in many ingenious ways. Divakaruni often writes about contemporary life in America and India, women’s experiences, immigration, history, magical realism and mythology.

Buy The Last Queen here: https://amzn.to/3QsthSh

Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in the segment "What's That Word?", where they discuss the origins of the phrase "catch-22".

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