The Tree Bride

The Tree Bride

By Bharati Mukherjee

Hyperion Books, Paperback, 9780786888665, 293pp.

Publication Date: August 2005

National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Bharati Mukherjee has long been known not only for her elegant, evocative prose but also for her characters--influenced by ancient customs and traditions but also very much rooted in modern times. In The Tree Bride, the narrator, Tara Chatterjee (whom readers will remember from Desirable Daughters), picks up the story of an East Bengali ancestor. According to legend, at the age of five Tara Lata married a tree and eventually emerged as a nationalist freedom fighter. In piecing together her ancestor's transformation from a docile Bengali Brahmin girl-child into an impassioned organizer of resistance against the British Raj, the contemporary narrator discovers and lays claim to unacknowledged elements in her 'American' identity. Although the story of the Tree Bride is central, the drama surrounding the narrator, a divorced woman trying to get back with her husband, moves the novel back and forth through time and across continents.

About the Author
BHARATI MUKHERJEE is the author of seven novels, two collections of short stories, and numerous essays on immigration and American culture and the co-author, with Clark Blaise, of two books of non-fiction. She is the first naturalized U.S. citizen to have won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Fiction. She has been a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1989. Follow Bharati on Twitter @missnewindia and become a fan on Facebook.