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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Women slaves — Guyana — History — 20th century. However I was never privy to the details of the large-scale importation of Indian indentured servants to the Caribbean. Join our mailing list.

Ethnic and Racial Studies. Odyssye was also the question, although it is not answered definitively in this book, of what type of women chose or were chosen to enter into indenture in the first place.

Jun 15, Jeannine rated it it was amazing. Although through the generations, the outcome was different Jamaica is not as economically distressed as Guyana Lists with This Book. Complex and unpredictable, sex was nevertheless a powerful tool.

Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture

Growing up, I was familiar with the general story — that my family came to Jamaica to work on the sugar cane plantations after the slavery was abolished. In the India’s patriarchal society, reinforced by the caste system, men could seek out indenture with the excuse that they wanted to better themselves.

Every detail is vivid, making it so easy to visualize entire scenarios. University of Calgary Press.

Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture, Bahadur

Coolie Woman is such a book, destined for a unique place in the multi-mirror of Caribbean culture. I found this book to be thought provoking and highly recommend it. My book focuses on the women in this group, two-thirds of whom had quit India without men by their sides. But this is no simple account of victimhood. There was an error while adding the following items. As a cooolie on a similar topic I’m thankful for the sources here but this text has little to do with an individual family history and more to do with a search womn it in general cooie terms that may or may not have actually been relevant in the agency and individual choices of the ancestors she seeks.


It is solidly researched and as such it reveals coilie difficulty of understanding the human lives concealed within documents. This page was last edited on 14 Julyat Nearby, dock workers loaded casks of sugar, rum and molasses and unloaded endless ice from America for coping with the heat. Videos About This Book. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives, Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women, shining a light on their complex lives.

Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture by Gaiutra Bahadur

Now, in Coolie Woman, her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. This spellbinding account of a story that needed to be told is highly recommended. They paint landscapes, advance the plot, convey a tone.

Sadly, it seems Bahadur is left with more questions than answers following her undoubtedly exhausting journey her research took her not only to the difficult terrains of the West Indies and India, but London and most surprisingly the Scottish highlands.

What was presented as a simple means to profit economically ended up destroying the social stability of millions of people. It is available from the Guardian bookshop.

The one thing that slowed and marred my reading of the book was the appallingly tiny font size used in the Inddenture edition of the book. Dec 02, Krissy rated it really liked it. Summary Ina young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”–the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world.

Return to Book Page. Jan 28, Felecia Stuart rated it really liked it Thd What is commendable about this book is the research done by the author in the quest for tracing her roots.


Life is changed in the form unima What is commendable about this book is the research done by the author in the quest for tracing her roots. But she is careful to stress that coolie ships were not slave ships; indentured women also played games, sang, worshipped, fell in love and began the process of re-inventing themselves for their new lives. This is a highly original combination of careful scholarship and well-told personal journey.

The following items were successfully added. Gaiutra Bahadur is an American writer. However as the book continued, the scope expanded.

Coolie Woman

Like you don’t want to air out your own family’s dirty laundry to the world. Outstanding book, at a superficial level its kind of an anthropological who-dun-it of looking back towards the Indian Diaspora in Br. But women often were trying to escape some sort of impossible, outcast life in India. Along the Demerara river ran a bustling commercial road with electric tram service. She also excavates the repressed history of some quarter of a million female coolies. Oct 18, Stephen rated it really liked it.

Dec 17, Dana rated it it was amazing Shelves: As Bahadur explains, however, it is precisely their sexuality that makes coolie women stand out as figures in history.

Gaiutra Bahadur is an American journalist and book critic who writes frequently about the culture and politics of global migration. Premdas, Ralph 19 February What an amazing work, deeply researched and interestingly told. The stories are both poignant and horrific: Twitter Facebook Youtube Tumblr.

The acculturation of Caribbean society during the years of indenture pretty much exacerbated their outcast status Perhaps most daringly, I turned to the self and wrote about my own journeys:

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