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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Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains. In Coolie Woman –shortlisted for the Orwell Prize–her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her.

Reviewed by The Independent 6 Nov The stories are both poignant and horrific: Archived from the original on 1 November The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

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Trivia About Coolie Woman: The book does many things well that others in the genre might: Coolie Woman chronicles their epic passage from Calcutta to the Caribbean, from departures akin either to kidnap or escape, through sea voyages rife with sexploitation, to new worlds where women were in short supply.

Archived from the original on 3 March As odysseg Guyanese-American it was an enlightening experience for me odussey learn about my ancestors and the plight to make a better life for themselves and the future generations of their families.

Coolie Woman

Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history. The Hurst Publishers website uses cookies and other tracking technologies e. But women often were trying to odhssey some sort of impossible, outcast life in India. 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.


A remarkable project of important historical research. Dec 02, Krissy rated it really liked it. To enter their unknown and to some extent unknowable history, I had to turn to alternative, unofficial sources.

So it was that, despite hard times for cane sugar, the Clyde arrived in British Guiana on 4 November Lists with This Book. An excellent piece of reading especially of a period of Caribbean history which seems to have taken on a HIStory part and unspoken her-story remains silent. Apr 24, Zehra rated it really liked it. The Odyssey of Indenture is a genealogical page-turner interwoven with a compelling, coooie history of empire told from the perspective of indentured women.

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. Pregnant ocolie traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history.

Aug 30, Rishona Campbell rated it really liked it. General History Latin American Studies. Between andthe death rate on ships to Guiana was odyszey.

Coolie Woman – Wikipedia

Initially the book begins as a nostalgic recount of journey of Ms. As a researcher 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 for it in general historical terms that may or may not have actually been relevant in indengure agency and individual choices of the ancestors she seeks.


But it also shows that cooliw that messy complexity there is, then as now, resilience, innovation, renewal and courage.

This book indetnure won prizes for a reason—I would say you should read it. How could I write about women whose very existence the official sources indenturf acknowledged? Archived from the original on 24 June I consent for my email address to be transferred to Mailchimp.

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

Neel Mukherjee, author of A Life Apart. Every detail is vivid, making it so easy to visualize entire scenarios. The amount of painstaking effort, patience and perseverance that must have gone into writing this book are mind boggling. I found this nonfiction book gripping and educational! In the India’s patriarchal society, reinforced by the caste system, men could seek out indenture with the ot that they wanted to better themselves. After several years indeenture work, they were then given land for their efforts.

Paul, Annie 31 March