Each April the Friends of the Mansfield Public Library host Mansfield Reads!, where we encourage everyone to read the same book at the same time. For the big finale, we bring in the author of the featured book to speak, answer questions and sign autographs.
This year, we selected Oleander Girl by award-winning and bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
This program would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors.
About Oleander Girl
Though she was orphaned at birth, the wild and headstrong Korobi Roy has enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents, spending her first 17 years sheltered in a beautiful, crumbling old mansion in Kolkata, India. But despite all that her grandparents have done for her, she is troubled by the silence that surrounds the circumstances of her parents’ death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found, years ago, hidden in a book of poetry that had belonged to her mother. As she grows, Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents’, and it seems her wish has finally come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family.
Shortly after their engagement, however, a sudden heart attack kills Korobi’s grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi’s past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents’ betrayal, Korobi decides to undertake a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will ultimately thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.
With flawless narrative instinct and a boundless sympathy for her irrepressible characters, in Oleander Girl Divakaruni brings us a perfect treat of a novel— moving, wise, and unforgettable. As The Wall Street Journal raves, “Divakaruni emphasizes the cathartic force of storytelling with sumptuous prose. . . . She defies categorization.”
The novel was awarded the Italian 2015 Premio Scanno Award for Literature.
Where To Buy Oleander Girl
We are able to offer both hardback and paperbacks at great prices (lower than that big online retailer), and a portion of the sales will help fund the event.
- Mansfield Public Library front desk
- Online with hand delivery (only available to residences in Mansfield city limits or within 1 mile of city limits, and with an additional $10 donation for delivery)
- Hardback: $20 ($30 if ordering online)
- Paperback: $12 ($22 if ordering online)
We will also be selling the books at:
- Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the Parks Mall in Arlington (prices will be B&N prices at this event but we will still get a portion of the sales) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Hometown Holidays on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Mansfield Activity Center from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
About Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including The Atlantic and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in more than 50 anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology.
Chitra is the author of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which is Before We Visit the Goddess (April 2016), full of beautifully wrought tales of love, longing and loneliness.
Chitra’s other novels include One Amazing Thing (2010), Shadowland (2009), Palace of Illusions (2008), and Queen of Dreams (2004). Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them have been used for campus-wide and city-wide reads. She has received glowing reviews for her appearances as well. Several of her works have been made into films and plays. She lives in Houston with her husband Murthy and has two sons, Anand and Abhay, who are in college.
Fun Facts: While going to grad school, in order to make money to pay her tuition fees, she worked at a number of odd jobs – slicing bread in a bakery, babysitting, washing instruments in a biology lab (Lots of blood!), and working in the kitchen at the International House at UC Berkeley, where she was going to school. There, on good days, she was allowed to serve desserts. If the manager was unhappy with her, she banished her to the dish room.
Chitra loves to connect with readers on her Facebook page.
Learn more about her by visiting her website.
This year, Reads! programs will run for seven weeks, beginning on March 13 (Spring Break week) and culminating with An Evening with the Author on April 28. All Reads! programs tie in with this year’s book selection, Chitra Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl, which takes place in India and the United States.
From free movie night at Farr Best and planting oleander seeds to a cooking class and busting myths about yoga, we’ve got an exciting lineup of fun activities. For details, visit the Programs page.
An Evening with the Author
The Evening with Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is Friday, April 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Mansfield Public Library (104 S. Wisteria St., Mansfield, TX 76063). All are welcome. Here’s the schedule:
- 6 p.m. Hors D’oeuvres – Catering by Savvy’s Bistro
- 7 p.m. The Friends welcome Ms. Divakaruni
- 8 p.m. Coffee, desserts and the book signing
Barnes and Noble will offer Ms. Divakaruni’s books for sale at the event. Through the Book Fair program, a percentage of sales proceeds will benefit the Friends. Use book fair code 12103867 at bn.com April 28 through May 7 if you miss the event.