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Bharati Mukherjee

  • Ro doesn't stand like Brent or Dad. His hands hang kind of stiffly from the shoulder joints, and when he moves, his palms are tucked tight against his thighs, his stomach sticks out like a slightly pregnant woman's. Each culture establishes its own manly posture, different ways of claiming space.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • "Orbiting," The Middleman and Other Stories ()
  • It's his first exposure to Third world passion. He thought only Americans had informed political opinion — other people staged coups out of spite and misery. It's an unwelcome revelation to him that a reasonably educated and rational man like Ro would die for things that he, Brent, has never heard of and would rather laugh about.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • "Orbiting," The Middleman and Other Stories ()
  • But, Christ, there's a difference between exotic and foreign, isn't there? Exotic means you know how to use your foreignness, or you make yourself a little foreign in order to appear exotic. Real foreign is a little scary, believe me.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • "Fighting for the Rebound," The Middleman and Other Stories ()
  • What was the function of poetry if not to improve the petty, cautious minds of evasive children?

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • "Buried Lives," The Middleman and Other Stories ()
  • What was the duty of the teacher if not to inspire?

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • "Buried Lives," The Middleman and Other Stories ()
  • Dullness is a kind of luxury.

  • A farmer is dependent on too many things outside his control; it makes for modesty.

  • In other words, my literary agenda begins by acknowledging that America has transformed me. It does not end until I show how I (and the hundreds of thousands like me) have transformed America.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 2 ()
  • Ancestral habits of mind can be constricting; they also confer one's individuality.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 2 ()
  • I am aware of myself as a four-hundred-year-old woman, born in the captivity of a colonial, pre-industrial oral culture and living now as a contemporary New Yorker.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 2 ()
  • [On her writing agenda:] Make the familiar exotic; the exotic familiar.

    • Bharati Mukherjee,
    • in Fakrul Alam, Bharati Mukherjee ()

Bharati Mukherjee, Indian-born U.S. novelist

(1940)

Full name: Bharati Mukherjee Blaise.