In an extension of her academic work on economic and political transition in India, Kamdar (World Policy Institute, New York U.) traces the Indian diaspora through this fascinating memoir of her tattooed grandmother's world and her own bicultural upbringing in the US West and Bombay. Includes family photos, maps, recipes, a glossary of Gujarati and Hindi terms, and endnotes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Tracing her family's odyssey from her grandmother's 1908 birth in rural India through her own 1960s childhood in the boomtowns of the American West Coast, Mira Kamdar paints a poignant but anti-nostalgic portrait. It's true, she notes, that Motiba (Hindi for "Grandmother") spoke, moved, and lived with a calm assurance that came from her roots in an ancient culture inaccessible to her cosmopolitan, mixed-ethnicity descendants. But she had also been pulled out of school at age 12, as was customary to preserve a girl's virtue, and was fiercely proud that her granddaughters had access to the education forbidden to her. Kamdar, whose prose is as subtle as her perceptions, captures the timeless appeal of village life when describing a visit to her grandmother's birthplace, but she also vividly evokes the vibrant sophistication of Rangoon, where her family made its fortune, as well as the colonial and racial tensions that forced most Indians out of Burma after World War II. Her father came to study in America and stayed to marry the red-haired daughter of Danish American farmers. Motiba's far-flung descendants remain close, even if they now keep in touch by e-mail as much as through the lengthy visits traditional among Indian relatives. In a moving final passage, Kamdar deems this new global community consistent with her grandmother's Jain belief that "we are all sojourners... adopting endless, myriad identities." --Wendy SmithAbout the Author:
Mira Kamdar is a Senior Fellow at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Her research and writing focus on economic and political transition in South Asia, particularly India. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. She lives in New York City's East Village and in Portland, Oregon.
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Descripción PublicAffairs, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P111891620584