where the writers are
Collected Praise for Palace of Illusions
Published Work: 
Multiple Newspapers and Magazines

“An intimate, feminine portrait that is both contemporary and timeless; an ambitious project effectively executed.” (Kirkus)

“a lyrical tale imbued with the scent of ancient incense yet . . . rooted in modern day relevancy.” (Book Page)

“A rich tale of passion and love, power and weakness, honor and humiliation. Whether or not readers are familiar with the Mahabharat epic, they will enjoy this entertaining, insightful and suspenseful story.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is as sprawling and bright a gem as the Hope Diamond – a mythic tale brimming with warriors, magic and trachery (and its brother, deceit)…. Who better to attempt the feat of transforming a centuries-old cultural icon into a personal, modern story than Divakaruni, a professor of English at the University of Houston and author of numerous award-winning works, including the luscious novel The Mistress of Spices and the bestselling Sister of my Heart. Divakaruni’s sentences dazzle; the images she creates are masterful….” (Los Angeles Times)

“Panchaali’s narrative provides a radient entrée into an ancient mythology virtually unknown to the Western world. Divakaruni’s impulse to flesh out the women of the Mahabharat results in a charming and remarkable book.” (The Houston Chronicle

“Your truly epic narrative myth calls for bitter experience descending, avalanche-like, down dynasties, incorporating dramatic turning points of ineradicable impact; curses; looming fates; tricky and meddlesome gods; feuds; sages, sorcerers and wars. These elements and many more are found in abundance in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s new novel, The Palace of Illusions, which ambitiously encapsulates the Indian epic “Mahabharat” within a 360-page novel.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“The Palace of Illusions…is as grand and tragic as the epic poems by Homer. The story is complex, as political relationships grow and develop, and friends and enemies are created, leading to battles and wars that will eventually destroy them all…I was captivated by the tragic storyline and the fate into which Panchaali was born. This admirable attempt to recreate the epic Mahabharat from the viewpoint of a strong woman is Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s best work yet.” (Bookreporter.com)

“vivid and inventive. . . . rich, action-filled. . . complex.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“For more than 20 years now, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been telling stories of Indian women from her home in California. Her women are desperate, wonderful, complicated, lyrical, memorable, even magical…. Chitra’s women experience love, loss and longing through tangled marriages, bitter divorces, childbirth, abortion, abuse, violence, racism, poverty and riches. Now, in a daring novel out this month, Banerjee Divakaruni returns to a fantastic world, inhabited by kings, queens, villains and sorcerers.” (Vogue India)