For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Divakaruni brings us One Amazing Thing . . .

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni knows how to weave a story out of disparate threads, bringing them together in an intelligent and compassionate human tapestry. In her latest book, ONE AMAZING THING (Hyperion 2009), the well-regarded author of Sister of my Heart, The Palace of Illusions, and The Mistress of Spices, brings together a cast of nine characters spending a long, tiring afternoon in a passport and visa office. Each has their reason for going to India, and each holds him or herself privately away from the others, focusing inward as they wait. When a violent earthquake rips through their building and traps them, the nine must struggle together for survival. As hopes for rescue seem to dim, each shares the story of a most compelling moment, a turning point, in their lives—something that shaped and molded them into who they are today.

The literary device of stranding a group of very different and unassociated people together in a situation like this, forcing an intimacy that would never happen under ordinary circumstances, has often been employed by writers to create a stage upon which human frailties can be revealed. Divakaruni has taken this device and made it her own—primarily with her ability to portray characters with such clarity that readers can identify compassionately and quickly care about the outcome of their imagined lives. As in our own lives, each has their secret grief and loss, joys and pleasures; each has experienced the indifferent cruelty unintentionally visited upon those around us; and each, when life is squeezed down to survival mode, often realizes what they value most.

Author’s website: http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/
Her blog: http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/blog/

See a video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi_-ZYmt28U

-- Rosemary Carstens


melanie mulhall said...


I have been out of touch with Ms. Divakaruni since The Mistress of Spices. Thanks for putting her back on my radar screen. One Amazing Thing sounds like . . . one amazing thing.

Melanie Mulhall

Mandy said...

Reading your posts made me think how this could easily have happened in the last few weeks in Haiti. I found myself wondering what would it be like to be trapped under the rubble? What would I say to the people trapped with me? I've added it to my reading list.

Gail Storey said...

Thank you for your reviews, Rosemary. This new book by Chitra Divakaruni sounds good, and I appreciate your heads-up.

Verna said...

Thanks for the snack, Rosemary. I've added Impact to my list. I could use a good thriller. I love reading all of your reviews.

Packabook Travel Novels said...

Thank you for this review, I will put this on my TBR list. I think it is particularly timely to be reading a novel like this, given the number of tragic earthquakes recently. Reading something like this helps us to understand a little more about the devastating impact an earthquake can have - beyond the news headlines.