Novelist, poet and short story writer Chitra was born in Calcutta and came to USA at the age of 19 after completing Bachelors degree from the University of Calcutta. She continued higher education in the field of English by receiving a Master’s degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her first works were books of poetry, Dark like the River (1987), The Reason for Nasturtiums (1990), and Black Candle (1991). In 1995, her short story collection “Arranged Marriage” was awarded the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewer Award for Fiction, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her first novel “Mistress of Spices” was released by Anchor in 1998. This novel was translated into 12 languages and is being filmed for a division of Walt Disney. For twenty years Chitra lived in the Bay Area and taught at Foothill College. In 1997 she moved to Texas with her husband and two children, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.