Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Unknown Errors of Our Lives” as Want to Read:
The Unknown Errors of Our Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,176 ratings  ·  174 reviews
From the bestselling author of "The Mistress of Spices" and "Sister of My Heart" comes a collection of moving stories about family, culture, and the seduction of memory.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by Doubleday Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,176 ratings  ·  174 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Unknown Errors of Our Lives
Jessica Haider
"The Unknown Errors of Our Lives" is a collection of short stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni that focuses on Indian women and their immigrant experience in America. In many ways, the subject matter of these stories are similar to those of Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of the Maladies" (a favorite book of mine). Many of the stories in Unknown Errors also deal with marriages of different sorts and in different stages: arranged marriages, engagements, deteriorating relationships.
The first story
Apr 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BookishDubai by: FRG Memorial Library‏
I really tried to like this collection, it's supposed to be similar to Interpreter of Maladies which I absolutely love. But I just could not get into it. ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this short story collection, Divakaruni explores the lives of Indians facing the differences of the American way of life versus the Indian way. A mother living in America with her son’s family finds herself with no real place there while her friend in India thinks she must be living a wonderful life of leisure in America. A young Indian-American mother fights with her feelings about the father who abandoned her to go to America, who now wants to meet his only grandson. A young woman strikes o ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have thoroughly enjoyed the writing of this author. I love how she weaves poetry into everything that is so mundane. The stories are from here and there and yet they reverberate with your emotions that stir your core. I loved it .
Sep 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-read
Lovely book of short stories, all about Indian ex-pats dealing with their cultural (dis)connection. As you might expect, loads of tragedy. Very very easy read, lovely characters. You can smell the curry cooking.
Kiran Yadav
When I read The Palace of Illusions, I was really impressed and influenced by the writing power of Chitra Banerjee. One of the reasons to pick this as the next read written by her was the fulfilling reading experience I got when I read The Palace of Illusions.

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives has stories drenched with our culture. The people are relatable and the emotion is tangible through the words. There is a melancholy to the characters and the environment they are living in. One of the pecul
Aida Radar
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has brought me to hunt Divakaruni's other books, in Bahasa Indonesia version.
So far, I still only have this book and Arranged Marriage; and Palace of Illusion which I'd given it someone I didn't know. :D
All Divakaruni's books which most of the characters are women are like a mirror to look the reflection of myself as a woman and a movie to see women from all different life experiences and perspectives.
I'm still hunting for Divakaruni's works in Bahasa Indonesia.
If you know any, please
Rula Zein-Iddin
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am usually a fan of short stories but Chitra's prose captures you and holds you in its warm embrace like a long lost friend.

And like a great cup of hot chai you really dont want the stories to end!

Each one of these short stories could easily be developed into a book of its own. Her writing is authentic and her characters resonate deeply.

I am so glad I discovered this author and look forward to reading more of her work.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, mexico
Just ok by me, more for female readers I think. I was VERY bored by all the stories but one. I only found interest in the one story which was set in India, Others had parts taking place in India which parts were interesting to me.
Becki Basley
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I usually do not like short stories but these seemed to be able to stand in their own yet connect to give an outsider (me) a glimpse into the life of the author's culture. I really like this author's writing style.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection

This book is a collection of short stories that range from topics of love,family and happiness from different generations. Not all of the stories have happy endings but it doesnt stop you from wanting to read more of each story.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
the best parts of this examined the relationships between women and their husbands, and women and their infant children, and did so with beauty and insight. By contrast, some of the other relationships described in the book felt significantly less lived in and held at a distance.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not usually a fan of short stories but the title captured my curiosity. I’m glad I pursued the interest. These small snippets were full of characters that were endearing and resemble people we all know.

Don’t pass on this one, you will be glad you did not.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 The thing I liked about this collection of short stories is that it was really easy to get involved in the characters’ lives without feeling emotionally blackmailed. The themes— widowhood, trapped between worlds, borders— really resonated.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

The stories are not written in conversation style.
Mostly thoughts and feelings. Rambling.
Sensitive yes. Sometimes quite boring .
The reviews seem to be misleading.
Font is not good but spacing in lines is provided. Somehow that does not seem right.
Janavi Held
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Poignant and powerfully moving.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good a collection as 'Arranged Marriages' but still a great read.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Painful but incredible
Saheb Roy
Light read. Nicely written. Only once who have gone through some of the own mistakes in life can relate to all the unknown errors which are presented between the lines.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories that reflect on the clash between ancient Asian Indian culture and a new life in the US.
Meghna Pant
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect little gems by one of the greatest storytellers of our times.
Arin Goswami
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's still a spectacular writer but I much preferred The Palace of Illusions. If you're going to read some Chitra, I suggest that you start there.
Steffi Dias
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing given the fact that I love this author’s books
Emma Julia
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of insightful short stories. Very good read
Aug 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The quality of the stories are uneven.
The best being the first two. The others are less literary and less subtle.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Glenna Barlow
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a lovely collection. i had forgotten how good divakaruni's work is so i'm glad i returned to it. this collection really showcases her talent for writing from various voices and capturing the unique experience of people who are often caught between the pull of two worlds. i've found that some short stories give you a slice of life but don't develop or move forward from where they've started, while others have a sadistic twist (or at least a devilish wink) at the end - looking at you, roald dahl. ...more
Joslyn Allen
Review on https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress...

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has crafted nine striking stories of love, identity, and loss in "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives." While exploring cultural mores and the complexities of the Indo-American immigrant experience, Divakaruni paints heart-wrenching and heart-warming portraits of everyday life. Her perspective mixes insight with a barbed tongue in a way that makes each story witty, alive, and empathetic. Though many of the stories contain t
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrea Ika
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review : The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni #review2014

The Unknown Errors of Our Lives
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Author)

In nine poignant stories spiked with humor and intelligence, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni captures lives at crossroad moments–caught between past and present, home and abroad, tradition and fresh experience. A widow in California, recently arrived from India, struggles to adapt to a world in which neighbors are strangers and her domestic skills are
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nine Lives
  • Fasting, Feasting
  • Battle For Bittora
  • The House that BJ Built
  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
  • The Twentieth Wife (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #1)
  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
  • Until You (Westmoreland, #3)
  • The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe
  • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
  • Defying Jihad: The Dramatic True Story of a Woman Who Volunteered to Kill Infidels--and Then Faced Death for Becoming One
  • The Space Race
  • Clean Sweep Ignatius
  • Hold Your Breath
  • When I Was Puerto Rican
  • The Girl Who Didn’t Give Up
  • Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss
  • Perfect (Second Opportunities, #2)
See similar books…
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her themes include the Indian experience, contemporary America, women, immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world. Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 ant ...more

Related Articles

Impassioned and inventive, Nobel Prize winner Neruda is a poet who stays on your mind. His intense love poems created a bit of a scandal when...
13 likes · 2 comments
“All of us groping in caverns, our fingertips raw against stone, searching for that slight crack, the edge of a door opening into love.” 2 likes
“Some things can't be spoken. The body alone knows them. It holds them patiently, in its silent, intelligent cells, until you are ready to see.” 2 likes
More quotes…