Indian-American author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, renowned for her earlier novels including The Forest of Enchantments (2019) and The Palace of Illusions (2008), is launching her next book ‘The Last Queen’ on 22 January, 2021. The book is a historical fiction, according to the publisher Harper Collins India, on the 19th century Sikh princes Rani Jindan Kaur, who was the daughter of the royal kennel keeper. Jindan was also Sikh Empire’s first Maharaja, Ranjit Singh’s youngest and last queen. She became regent after Dalip, her six-year old son, inherited the throne under unexpected circumstances.
"An exquisite love story of a king and a commoner, a cautionary tale about loyalty and betrayal, and a powerful parable of the indestructible bond between mother and child, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's unforgettable novel brings alive one of the most fearless women of the nineteenth century, an inspiration for our times,” says HarperCollins India about the book.
Most of Divakaruni’s works are set in the US and India. Her novels range from realistic fiction to fantasy. Her novels The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, and The Word Love, a short story, have been adapted into films.
Divakaruni has shared that the book has already been optioned by Endemol Shine for a movie. About bringing the largely-forgotten Maharani Jindan Kaur to readers, she has stated, “From the beginning, I was struck by her strength and unfaltering courage even as she goes through the worst challenges of her life. Delightfully human with her faults and foibles, the resolute Jindan has been an inspiring companion to me through these troubled times. I trust she will do the same for all who pick up this book.”
Divakaruni is currently the McDavid professor of Creative Writing at University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. Originally from Kolkata, she did her college education in the US, and has a PhD from the University of California- Berkeley.
(Edited by Athira Nair)