Novelist Bharati Mukherjee passes away

New Delhi, Feb 01: Professor, novelist, short story writer, Bharati Mukherjee, passes away at 76. The Taraknath Das Foundation writes: The trustees of the Taraknath Das Foundation grieve at the loss of our longtime trustee and awardee, who died January 28 at the age of 76. A wonderfully talented American writer of South Asian descent, teacher, friend, generous spirit, she will be missed every day. Continue to read her books and learn of her vision of an inclusive America in her memory.

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 Amanda 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.