Published by on April 3, 2021
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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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The narrative is a multi-layered exploration of exile, colonialism, gender dynamics in a world of mercilessly skewed gender ratios, the ensuing jealousies and violence against women spoiled for choice of sexual partners and the forging of a new community identity shaped in equal parts by what has 4.

Took me so long to read because these are very difficult stories of violence and loss. As while the author is focuses her research on Guyana stemming from her great-great-grandmother indentufe from India to Guyana, it can be seen in other British Caribbean territories that received East Indian indenture immigrants. If you continue on this website you will be womam your consent to our use of this information.

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. Outstanding book, at a superficial level its kind of an anthropological who-dun-it of looking back towards the Indian Diaspora in Br.

However I was never privy to the details of the larg This book caught my eye because I recently started doing genealogical research on my own family; and my paternal grandmother was the granddaughter of indentured East Indians.


Gaiutra Bahadur is an American journalist and book critic who writes frequently about the culture and politics of global migration. Still a very interesting read kf even if it lacked the fabulous language promised in the first few pages. Archived from the original on 5 April Interesting topic, but read more like a compilation of research articles rather than a cohesive work. She combines her journalistic eye for detail and story-telling gifts with indenturee questions, relentlessly pursuing leads to create a haunting portrait of the life of a subaltern.

She contextualizes historical and contemporary sexual and GBV in the context of indenture and colonialism, a woamn antidote to the racist discourse which Excellent book. This book has won prizes for a reason—I would say you should read it.

I would like to add that her measured voice, as I put it above, took nothing away from her story telling ability or the books hold on me. But the account has turned into more of a research paper than a personalized story th her great grandmother’s leaving of India as a Coolie Woman.

A work of remarkable excavation, shedding light on the history of indenture- not only as a system, but its impact on diaspora identity too. Return to Book Page. The Odyssey of Indenture is a genealogical page-turner interwoven with a compelling, radical history of empire told from the womann of indentured women.

Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture

Archived from the original on 9 January When they exercised the power this gave them, some fell victim to the machete, in brutal attacks, often fatal, by men whom they spurned. 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. Leaving for the colonies, was indenutre a chance at a new life – even if this process was fraught with its own set of injustices and being taken advantage of.


John Agard, author of Half-Caste.

Coolie woman : the odyssey of indenture

The book is a biography of Sujaria, the great-grandmother of the author [3] and simultaneously an exploration of the indentured labor system, which was practiced in the Caribbean. Indentured servants — Guyana — History — 20th century. A well-researched, well-written book on the Coolie Woman’s journey from India to Guyana.

She contextualizes historical and pf sexual and GBV in the context of indenture and colonialism, a worthwhile antidote to the racist discourse which uses GBV violence to justify white supremacy as if it was created in a vacuum. 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 womab Jordan, and the U.

Her search provides an interesting, if somewhat sad, glimpse into the past as she tries to give a voice to the many voiceless coolie women. To ask other readers questions about Coolie Womanplease sign up. Sex with overseers both empowered and imperiled other women, in equal measure.

University of Chicago Press: Gaiutra was born in Guyana and emi Gaiutra Bahadur is an American writer. Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history.

Coolie Woman – Wikipedia

But this is no simple account of victimhood. Jan 28, Felecia Stuart rated it really liked it Shelves: Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Aug 23, Andrew Otis rated it really liked it. Trivia About Coolie Woman: