January 22, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

JLF: Long journey from Guiana to great-grandma’s Bihar

1 min read

Interview with Guyanese-American journalist Gaiutra Bahadur: DNA

GaiutraBIn her book Coolie Woman, Guyanese-American journalist Gaiutra Bahadur traces the history of her great-grandmother Sujaria and a quarter of a million women like her who left India in the mid-1800s as indentured labour. From the treacherous sea voyage to British Guiana to the challenges faced by these “coolie” women, Bahadur paints a vivid picture. In a free-wheeling chat, Bahadur tells Amrita Madhukalya how the book is part personal history and part documentation. Edited excerpts of the interview:

What led you to write Coolie Woman? Were you, in a way, tracing your own personal history through your great-grandmother’s story? 

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