Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Indian Americans Hold Key Positions in US Universities!

Dear Children,

Over 8,000 Indian professors are enriching university campuses all across the United States with many holding top positions in their respective fields and making their mark. Here is the Biography of Bharati Mukherjee for your reading. She is a distinguished professor of English.

With Love, Amma-Naana

Bharati Mukherjee was born on July 27, 1940, to an upper-middle class family in Calcutta, India. The second of three daughters of Sudhir Lal, a chemist, and Bina Mukherjee, she lived with 40 or 50 relatives until the age of eight.

Born into an extraordinarily close-knit and intelligent family, Mukherjee and her sisters were always given ample academic opportunities, and thus have all pursued academic endeavors in their careers and have had the opportunity to receive excellent schooling.

In 1947, her father was given a job in England and he brought his family to live there until 1951, which gave Mukherjee an opportunity to develop and perfect her English language skills.

Mukherjee earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Calcutta in 1959. She and her family then moved to Baroda, India, where she studied for her Master's Degree in English and Ancient Indian Culture, which she acquired in 1961.

Having planned to be a writer since childhood, Mukherjee went to the University of Iowa in 1961 to attend the prestigious Writer's Workshop. She planned to study there to earn her Master's of Fine Arts, then return to India to marry.

However, a lunch break on September 19, 1963, changed that plan, transferring Mukherjee into a split world, a transient with loyalties to two cultures. She impulsively married Clark Blaise, a Canadian writer, in a lawyer's office above a coffee shop after only two weeks of courtship.

She received her M.F.A. that same year, then went on to earn her Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from the University of Iowa in 1969.

In 1968, Mukherjee immigrated to Canada with her husband and became a naturalized citizen in 1972.

Although those years were challenging, Mukherjee was able to write her first two novels, The Tiger's Daughter and Wife, while working up to professorial status at McGill University in Montreal.

During those years she also collected many of the sentiments found in her first collection of short stories, Darkness, a collection that in many sections reflects her mood of cultural separation while living in Canada.

Mukherjee and her family, then moved to the United States in 1980, where she was sworn in as a permanent U.S. resident.

Continuing to write, in 1986 she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant. After holding several posts at various colleges and universities, she ultimately settled in 1989 at the University of California-Berkeley.

Mukherjee is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California-Berkeley. Her husband, with whom she shares a "literary marriage," teaches at the University of Iowa and they have two sons together, Bart Anand and Bernard Sudhir.