Bharati Mukherjee

Bharati Mukherjee was an Indian-born award winning American writer who explored the internal culture clashes of her immigrant characters in the award-winning collection The Middleman and Other Stories and in novels like Jasmine and Desirable Daughters.

Ms. Mukherjee, a native of Calcutta, attended schools in England, Switzerland and India, earned advanced degrees in creative writing in the United States and lived for more than a decade in Canada, affording her a wealth of experience in the modern realities of multiculturalism.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Calcutta in 1959 and a master’s degree from the University of Baroda, in Gujarat, in 1961. After sending six handwritten stories to the University of Iowa, she was accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she studied with Philip Roth and Vance Bourjaily in her first year. She earned an M.F.A. in 1963 and a doctorate in comparative literature in 1969 at Iowa.

After years of short-term academic appointments, Ms. Mukherjee was hired in 1989 to teach postcolonial and world literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bharati Mukherjee died on Saturday, January 28, 2017, in Manhattan. She was 76.

Books in order of publication:


  • The Tiger’s Daughter (1971)
  • Wife (1975)
  • Jasmine (1989)
  • The Holder of the World (1993)
  • Leave It to Me (1997)
  • Desirable Daughters (2002)
  • The Tree Bride (2004)
  • Miss New India (2011)

Short story collections

  • Darkness (1985)
  • The Middleman and Other Stories (1988)
  • A Father
  • The Management of Grief


  • Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977, with Clark Blaise)


  • The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (1987, with Clark Blaise)
  • Political Culture and Leadership in India (1991)
  • Regionalism in Indian Perspective (1992)
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