A Review of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Novel 'One Amazing Thing'

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Protagonist Uma urges the people she is trapped with in the Indian consulate to share "one amazing thing" from their lives, in order to ease the tension and anxiety from the earthquake." Thus, Chitra Banarjee Divakaruni's novel One Amazing Thing is partly a tribute to the healing power of storytelling. Storytelling can evoke a catharsis, leading to forgiveness of self and other that has direct spiritual and social implications. A natural disaster, moreover, is something that is beyond all human control. It is how people react to the disaster that matters. One Amazing Thing, with its multiplicity of stories, themes, and points of view, anchors the importance of being here now, fully in the present moment. Ironically, being in the present sometimes requires a deep and close scrutiny of the past. In Divakaruni's One Amazing Thing, the author shows that people who hold on to past regrets have difficulty appreciating their present. The central theme about the power of the past versus the present plays itself out in all of the "amazing thing" stories told by the individual characters, all of which bond together due to their common need for visiting India. The two characters that most encapsulate Divakaruni's central theme of being here now are Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett. The Pritchetts represent the difficulties experienced in a long-term relationship; and most of those difficulties have to do with navigating through the present and future without being bogged down by the past. It is

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