Sandy's Reviews > Leaving Yuba City: Poems

Leaving Yuba City by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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's review
Apr 20, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: literature, poetry
Read in April, 2009


India-born Chitra Divakaruni is one of my favorites. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature from UC Berkeley and teaches at Foothill College on the San Francisco Peninsula. She's won both Allen Ginsberg and Pushcart Prizes for poetry. This is my favorite of her works, a book of award winning poetry about the experience of Indians coming to the United States. Beautiful, powerful work illuminating a population I knew little about.

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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni Thanks so much, Sandy. Most people know me as a fiction writer, so I'm always so appreciative when people read & enjoy the poems.


Sandy I've read most of your fiction, too, and enjoyed it very much. Leaving Yuba City really spoke to me, being set in my native California and yet in such an exotic culture. Have you read Halldor Laxness? He was Iceland's 1955 Nobel Laureate. His Independent People makes Angela's Ashes look like a romp in the park. Iceland is not a place to be poor. You might want to take a look. I'm half Icelandic. Halldor describes my cultural roots. He treats social class better than any writer I've seen.

Do you have a place to sign up for notification of new books???? All the best, Sandy

message 3: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni Hi Sandy, Thanks for reading so many of my books. Glad you enjoyed them. I'll definitely look up Laxness--sounds intriguing. There's a sign-up on my website,, that will put you on my newsletter list, & you'll get notification of all new books & book news.

message 4: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni Sandy, Forgot to add: I have a new book titled Oleander Girl coming out in March 2013; If you send me an email to, I'll send you a sneak peek!

Sandy I've signed up and sent you an email. Looking forward to the sneak peek! I am also an author. Here's my website I write fiction and nonfiction. The fiction is sci-fi/fantasy for smart people. I've been compared to Douglas Adams and Ray Bradbury,rather heady company. One reviewer called my Lady Grace, "a page-turner that requires use of one's gray matter." I hold MAs in Economics and Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling and worked as a negotiation coach at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and as an economist. As a result, I can't write drivel. Also bred horses for 20 years with my husband. From your bio, you may have sliced more Jello-O than I have, but I know I've shoveled much more green stuff.

message 6: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni I will send the sneak peek to you & will look up your website, too. I love reading Sci-fi. That's funny, about your bio!

message 7: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni PS I love horses--theoretically more than for-real, I have to admit. My closest contact has been a few rides and feeding them apples.

message 8: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni And here's my facebook page if you want to join in some literary (and some just for fun) conversation.

Sandy Funny, but true. I consider my time behind a shovel (actually a manure fork) as ego reduction time, similar to Ghandhi's seva in his ashram. Makes it go faster. Meanwhile, the horses continue to produce.

Tales from Earth's End, my new 3 part sci-fi series, is just up on my site. If you want any of the books, drop me a line and I'll get them to you. I can do print of ebook versions. My writing is similar to yours, in that there's a transcendent aspect, but lots of fireworks, too. Of the Tales, I like Lady Grace and especially Sam & Emily.

Good chatting with you.

Sandy You like horses? Ahah! Here's our ranch site: It's totally out of date, as we stopped breeding about seven years ago, but the pictures are still amazing. Click on the horse's head to enter. (The man without a head in that pic is my husband, on his stallion, Leon Gitano BSN.)

From there dive in. The Training Series is really good. Some rodeo there. The Trail riding one is good, Facilities, also good. Definition of Brio (with bear story). There are some great videos on the sale pages. The pictured horses are no longer for sale, but videos remain enchanting. The site is a bonanza. I've ridden since I was 10. (The History tab on the site presents a recent history of the SF Bay Area, written in horses.)

Horses have ALWAYS been about overcoming fear for me, even now. They are absolutely physical and totally spiritual, at once. The best psychologists in the world, they know all about you the minute you step into the saddle. They're amazing creatures. I'm working on "The Horse Book," now, to my agent's delight. This is a memoir containing all the wisdom I've learned from horses, and my spiritual experiences, terrors.

Back to work! I hope you enjoy the horse site. If you're ever down in the Santa Barbara area, you're invited to visit.

I liked your FB page. I try to stay off the social media because it's such a time waster, but check in from time to time.

message 11: by Chitra (new)

Chitra Divakaruni I will check that horse site out asap! i might actually be going to santa barbara early next year, on a visit to a school. if so, will let you know. thanks for liking my FB pg. the memoir sounds REALLY interesting.

Sandy Let's keep in touch. We'll both keep writing. Enjoy the horse site. Our horses are Peruvian Pasos, decedents of the horses brought over by the Conquistadores. The smoothest riding horses in the world. Beautiful, elegant, and amazingly sensitive. Very exotic show get up.

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