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Author Chitra Divakaruni’s One Amazing Thing Selected for One Book, One City Reading Initiative

By Kalyani Giri

HOUSTON:  A book by bestselling local author of international acclaim, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, has been selected as the opus of choice for the One Book, One City Gulf Coast Reads literacy program started collaboratively by libraries and literacy organizations in the Greater Houston area. One Amazing Thing, a riveting book that relates how a group of culturally diverse people reacts when placed in almost unbearable situation of psychological and emotional adversity, also describes how they pull together and pass long hours sharing personal stories which they had never told anyone before. The book was chosen because it celebrates the individual being in all its uniqueness, yet demonstrates so eloquently and poignantly how with a little understanding, the great divides disappear and all are one – just human beings in this journey of life.

Divakaruni’s book marks the pilot of the program created by Gulf Coast Reads to ignite the imaginations of readers and bring the community together in the joy of reading as well as to promote the power of literacy. The program will kick off on Saturday, August 27 at 12.00pm at the Houston Public Library’s Central Library, 500 McKinney, with a festive day full of colorful entertainment and activities for the entire family. The event is free and open to the public.

Divakaruni lives in Houston and currently teaches advanced classes in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston.  Several of her works have also been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese. Two of her books, “The Mistress of Spices” and “Sister of My Heart,” were made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges. Other books by her include Arranged Marriage, Vine of Desire, Sister of My Heart, and Palace of Illusions that describes the Indian epic The Mahabharat from the perspective of its fiery protagonist, Panchali. Divakaruni also writes books for children.

The Houston Public Library, Fort Bend County Libraries, Harris County Public Library, and Montgomery County Memorial Library are presenting the educational and fun citywide reading initiative in partnership. The goal of Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page is to cultivate a culture of reading in Houston by encouraging people to come together in libraries, bookstores, community centers, homes, churches, schools and parks to discuss the book. This program will take place Saturday, August 27 through Friday, September 30, 2011.

Additional program partners include:  Bellaire Public Library, Blue Willow Bookshop, Brazoria Public Library System, Brazos Bookstore, Houston Community College, and Houston Great Books Council.



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