This spellbinding account of a story that needed to be told is highly recommended. The collective voice of the jehaji behen ship sisters has been barely audible across the centuries, until now. It is solidly researched and as such it reveals the difficulty of understanding the human lives concealed within documents. Those who wish to find romantic myths in the past to power deeply conservative ideas about the present, and the role of women in an imagined future, will find little to work with here.
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Shelves: non-fiction A superb work, merging autobiography, family history and careful archival research into the bowels of empire. The book is a perfect, powerful illustration of what it means to think historicallyabout gender, about culture, and about our strange world of migrant diasporas.
A superb work, merging autobiography, family history and careful archival research into the bowels of empire. The book is a perfect, powerful illustration of what it means to think historically—about gender, about culture, and about our strange world of migrant diasporas.
Much like other diaspora research, there are about 50 pgs of speculation which undermines for me the power of the actual historical data that personalizes the social phenomena and the legacy of the commercial institution of indentureship. The particularities on Guyana were insightful, esp in relation to other Indo- communities within Caricom.
With fewer rhetorical questions, this could have read as a more serious historical text rather than as a cathartic diary of sorts. The connection to slavery and colonialism is bare and an incredibly readable and fascinating history and analysis. The connection to slavery and colonialism is bare and necessarily twisted and we deal with the aftermath today [also note the connection to the Scottish highlands and the Irish potato famine].
I found this nonfiction book gripping and educational! It was an incredibly engrossing and wonderful historical piece. I found this book to be thought provoking and highly recommend it.
The woman, who claimed no husband, was pregnant and travelling alone. A century later, her great-granddaughter embarks on a journey into the past, hoping to solve a mystery: what made her leave her country? And had she also left behind a man? Gaiutra Bahadur, an American journalist, pursues traces of her great-grandmother over three continents. She also excavates the repressed history of some quarter of a million female coolies.
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