Introduction & Overview of Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter Summary & Study Guide Description

Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Chitra Divakaruni's "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter" was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1998 and was included in Divakaruni's second shortstory collection, The Unknown Errors of Our Lives (2001). Divakaruni is an Indian who immigrated to the United States, and "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter" is one of her many stories that explores the culture shock faced by Indian women who have made such immigrations. In this particular case, Mrs. Dutta, an Indian widow, bows to her sense of duty and pressure from her Calcutta relatives. She decides to come and live with her son and his family in the San Francisco Bay area—a setting that Divakaruni uses repeatedly in her fiction. Throughout the story, Mrs. Dutta tries to answer her Calcutta friend's question about whether or not she is happy in America, but she keeps putting her response letter aside. She is afraid to explore how she really feels, since this may conflict with her loyalty to her family. However, through a series of cultural conflicts, she finally gains the strength to be honest with herself about her unhappiness. When this story was published in 1998, India was highly visible in the international arena for the cultural conflict among its religious groups, its nuclear weapons tests, and its ongoing border dispute with Pakistan. A current copy of "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter" can be found in The Best American Short Stories 1999, which was published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1999.

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This section contains 244 words
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