Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture by Gaiutra Bahadur is published by C Hurst and Co priced £ It is available from the Guardian. In , a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”—the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on. Coolie Woman. The Odyssey of Indenture. Gaiutra Bahadur. SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE ‘A genealogical page-turner interwoven with a.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Bahadur handles this history without compromise, imbuing it with prismatic context, deepening the true stories that can be told odyesey the journeys that so many women undertook.

Preview — Coolie Woman by Gaiutra Bahadur. The book does many things well that others in the genre might: Aug 08, Nicolette added it. It was an incredibly engrossing and wonderful historical piece. The stealing of the voices of indentured women, born into the wrong fhe, race and gender to write themselves into history, was structural. Ethnic and Racial Studies.

The book is a perfect, powerful illustration of what it coopie 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.

Coolie woman : the odyssey of indenture

They communicate my own attitude to the archive and its elisions and biases: Perhaps most daringly, I turned to the self and wrote about my own journeys: Every detail is vivid, making it so easy to visualize entire scenarios. Twitter Facebook Youtube Tumblr. Reviewers have pointed to the importance the work holds for a “neglected area of scholarship”, in the age when Asian indentured workers replaced African slaves on plantations in the Caribbean, [8] as well as its exploration of feminist themes of societal and family oppression, poverty, lack of power, sexual abuse and violence.


Archived from the original on 24 September Archived from the original on 5 April At odysey I could not believe the amount of records the book contains. One or more items could not be added because you are not logged in.

Coolie Woman | Hurst Publishers

Initially the book begins as a nostalgic recount of journey of Ms. What was presented as a simple means to profit economically ended up destroying the social stability of millions of people.

Genuinely, I feel you could suffer through a textbook or you could read this and have an equivalent depth of knowledge.

Untouchables were victimised, taken advantage of by other family members and had no way of supporting themselves so often turned to prostitution. Archived from the original on 9 January To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Gaiutra Bahadur: ‘How could I write about women whose existence is barely acknowledged?’

Along the Demerara river ran a bustling commercial road with electric tram service. Library Locations and Hours.

This is a highly original combination of careful scholarship and well-told personal journey. Lists with This Book.

So many things make The amount of painstaking effort, patience and perseverance that must have gone into writing this book are mind boggling.

It is solidly researched and as such it reveals the difficulty of understanding the human lives concealed within documents. Bahadur’s family left the island, whereas most of mine still remain in Jamaica.

The book comes out to be one of it’s kind to put in detail little-known history of the indentures from India to Sugarcane Plantations under British Empire. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So it was that, despite hard times for cane sugar, the Indebture arrived in British Guiana kndenture 4 November In detailing the bitter journeys of her forebears, in making their astonishing experiences real and sympathetic, and in registering the complexities of their lives — not least the extent to which they made choices where one might have expected helplessness — Bahadur honours their memories and shows herself their worthy descendant.


I found myself surprised because with many of these type of history books, focusing on a particular cultural group and written by a member of said group, there is a tendency to romanticize the story.

The Odyssey of Indenture, a personal history of indenture shortlisted in for the Orwell Prize, the British literary prize for artful political writing.

Bahadur’s extensive research draws from archival material, historical records, primary and oral sources, family history, indentire, and ccoolie. A former daily newspaper staff writer, Gaiutra has told the stories of asylum seekers and immigrants in Philadelphia and its suburbs and reported from Baghdad, Iraqi refugee outposts in Syria and Jordan, and the U.

Extremely well researched and written. South Asia Biography and Letters History: Drawing from a notable range of pertinent primary and secondary sources, the work can definitely be used as a source of valuable corroborative details in both academic odyesey nonacademic engagements with the Indian indenture system.

A widowed woman, now considered an untouchable, would be ostracised from her family almost immediately upon the death of her husband. I think the latter point makes it a must read for anyone interested in the historical systems of indenture.

Refresh and try again. A well-researched, well-written book on the Coolie Woman’s journey from India to Guyana. But this is no simple account of victimhood.

Aug 24, arafat rated it it was amazing Shelves: And I thought I knew something about immigration to the New World. The author succeeds in presenting ihdenture underexamined or overlooked details of the lives of these women in a very compelling narrative, woven from skeins of meticulous details but never pedantic in its presentation.