Noted Indian American Author Receives Honorary Degree

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Acclaimed author Bharhati Mukherjee received Whittier College's highest award, an honorary doctorate of humane letters (L.H.D.), during a special ceremony last night. Mukherjee was on campus as part of the 2009 Whittier College Writers Festival.

The Albert Upton Professor of English Language and Literature Tony Barnstone nominated the author for this award.

"In many ways Mukherjee's journey has been the journey of the American Dream; In the sense of discovering for yourself who you want to be," said Barnstone during his presentation of the author.

Mukherjee is the author of seven novels, most recently Desirable Daughters and The Tree Bride, two collections of short stories, Darkness and The Middleman & Other Stories, and numerous essays on immigration and American culture. She has also co-authored, with Clark Blaise, two books of non-fiction, Days and Nights in Calcutta and The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy. She is the first naturalized U.S. citizen to have won the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Best Fiction. She has been a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley since 1989.