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Dipika Mukherjee

Connection to Illinois: Mukherjee teaches at StoryStudio Chicago and the Graham School at University of Chicago. She has lived in Chicago since 2012.

Biography: Dipika Mukherjee is a writer and a sociolinguist. Her second novel, Shambala Junction, won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction and her debut novel, Thunder Demons, republished in 2016 as Ode to Broken Things, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her short story collections include Rules of Desire and edited collections include Champion Fellas, Silverfish New Writing 6 and The Merlion and Hibiscus. She has two poetry collections: The Third Glass of Wine and The Palimpsest of Exile.

Her academic interests include Language Shift in Diasporic Communities, and especially women in the Indian diaspora. Her co-edited book, Language Shifts Among Malaysian Minorities as Effects Of National Language Planning: Speaking in Many Tongues was published by Amsterdam University Press in 2011.

  • Shambala Junction UK Virginia Prize for Fiction
  • Thunder Demons/Ode to Broken Things Longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Dialect of Distant Harbors (Notable Voices Series)
ISBN: 1933880937 OCLC:

CavanKerry Press 2022

This poetry collection explores themes of home, grieving, and kinship.With wonder, empathy, and even rage, Dialect of Distant Harbors summons a shared humanity to examine issues of illness and family. Dipika Mukherjee’s poems redefine belonging and migration in a misogynistic and racist world. “A grievous vastness to this world,” she writes, “beyond human experience.”As the world recovers from a global pandemic and the failure of modern government, these poems are incantations to our connections to the human family—whether in Asia, Europe, or the United States. Dialect of Distant Harbors focuses on what is most resilient in ourselves and our communities.

Ode to Broken Things
ISBN: 1910924148 OCLC:

Repeater 2016

Colonel S--biomedical engineer, explosives expert, and the Maylasian's government go-to hitman--has been doing the dirty work of the rich and corrupt for years now and is ready for his final job. One that will ensure the domination of the Muslims over the Malaysian state. The target? Kuala Lumpur International Airport. All he needs is a little help from his old friend and protege, Dr. Jay Ghosh. Despite the dangerous circumstances and Jay's own tragic Malaysian history, which he has been running from for 30 years, he cannot refuse the man who once saved his life. But, when Jay contacts Agni, the daughter of his first love with dangerous secrets of her own and a hunch that Colonel S is not all he seems, Jay is torn between righting the wrongs of his past and remaining loyal to a blood oath he has finally been called on to repay. Set in modern day Malaysia, divided by two religions vying for control of the state with violence and manipulation, Ode to Broken Things rings true in an increasingly dangerous world fraught with warfare, conflicting cultures, dysfunctional governments, and terrorism. However, Dipika Mukjerjee's focus on the characters' interwoven histories forms the story's overarching message that, despite race, ethnicity, or religion, the same blood run in our veins.

Rules of Desire
ISBN: 9670954169 OCLC:

Buku Fixi 2015

In Rules of Desire, yearning becomes both dangerous and erotic, leading the readers into worlds where the unthinkable becomes possible.Dipika Mukherjee's stories careen from urban Kuala Lumpur to cosmopolitan Shanghai, then small towns of India and the remote wilderness of America.Seventeen stories explore the realities of rapidly changing countries, where social mores are obscured by political and economic realities. They explore the essence of being human in a world that turns on the debts of desire.

Shambala Junction
ISBN: 1910798398 OCLC:

Aurora Metro Press 2017

Iris, an American, is visiting India for the first time with her fiance and not enjoying the trip. When she steps down from the train at Shambala Junction to buy a bottle of water, little does she know that her life will radically change. Stranded at the small town, she becomes involved in a local stall-holder's battle to recover a lost child - one which is about to be sold to a rich Westerner. Fighting corruption and bureaucracy for the sake of the child, she discovers not only herself - but friendship, courage and a love of India in all its colorful contradictions.

Thunder Demons
ISBN: 8190939165 OCLC: New Delhi :

Gyaana Books New Delhi : 2011

With a strong cast of characters, Thunder Demons unveils Malaysia as it grapples with tradition in the face of globalization, especially over the issue of who is a bumiputra. Combining themes of communal violence, religion and identity, this is a racy and dramatic story of love and betrayal.

Writer’s Postcards
ISBN: 9815058770 OCLC: [S.l.] :

Penguin Books [S.l.] : 2023

Essays on literature, language, and global communities, through the lens of a modern Asian nomad Part travelogue, part memoir, and part commentary, Writer’s Postcards is a collection of essays that examine imagination and culture through the lens of geography. A flaneuse and person of the world, Dipika Mukherjee takes readers through various encounters from her highly mobile life: the lugubrious literature of Brazil; the linguistic diversity in China and Tibet; and meeting the Dalai Lama while traveling as a lone woman through New Delhi. She examines the political unrest in Myanmar after the brief international reach of Burmese books; weighs in on Chicago’s literary landmarks and famous writers; reminisces on the languid feasting of Diwali celebrations at Port Dickson by the Malaysian–Bengali community; and finds new notions of home, identity, and belonging in the Netherlands—among many others. Thought-provoking and unabashed in its entirety, this is a collection of essays that goes beyond the personal and communal to examine issues of international concern.