A chronicle of the lives of five generations of women in the author’s family, this fascinating story spans over a hundred years in its narrative sweep, from the late nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty-first. It mirrors and critiques the progress of a nation, its society and its women, seamlessly blending biography with social history.
Sundar-ma, Bharati Ray’s great-grandmother, was married into a conservative household at twelve. Self-educated, because formal education was out of her reach, she was an intelligent, deeply thoughtful woman who witnessed some of the most tumultuous times in India’s history and actively participated in India’s freedom struggle. Ushabala, the author’s grandmother, was the proud wife of a college lecturer and a consummate home-maker, while Kalyani, Bharati Ray’s Ma, was the first woman in the family to get a college degree, but gave up her studies and a career to raise her children. Ma is lovingly described as feisty and irrepressible, a keen traveller and always ready for adventure. Kalyani’s academic successes heralded the author’s own remarkable achievements, first as lecturer in Calcutta University, then as its first woman pro-vice-chancellor and later as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. Bharati Ray’s daughters, Khuku and Tista, both extremely bright, lead busy, fulfilling lives as academics.
About the Author :
Bharati Ray, historian and educationist, taught history at Calcutta University and was its pro-vice-chancellor from 1988 to 1995. She founded the Women’s Studies Research Centre at the university and is currently vice president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
She writes in Bengali as well as English and has numerous books to her credit. Bharati Ray was a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, from 1996 to 2003 and a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Empowerment of Women. She is president of the Children’s Little Theatre in Kolkata.
So looking forward to read through this book. Will post my review soon.