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One Amazing Thing

By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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ISBN 10: 1401341586
ISBN 13: 9781401341589
240 pages

“Ingeniously conceived and intelligently written, this novel is a fable for our time.”
–Ha Jin, author of A Free Life and the National Book Award-winning Waiting

“[A] jewel of a story.”
–Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“Hauntingly beautiful.”
Houston Chronicle

One catastrophic event. Nine strangers. One amazing story.

The scene: Late afternoon in a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and even most office workers have come and gone, but a punky teenager, an upper-class Caucasian couple, a young Muslim-American man, and five others remain. Out of nowhere, an earthquake rips through the lull, trapping these nine disparate people together, with little food and no way to escape the slowly flooding office. When the psychological and emotional stress becomes nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, “one amazing thing” from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. And as their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself.


“An absorbing novel.” –Washington Post “A passionate, intelligent book that sings with humanity.” –Texas Monthly “One Amazing Thing collapses the walls dividing characters and cultures; what endures is a chorus of voices in one single room.” –Jhumpa Lahiri, author of Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake

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One Amazing Thing