The NPR blog Code Switch did a piece on the etymology of the highly charged word in the title: A History of Indentured Labor Gives Coolie Its Sting.
PRI’s The World also featured the book: “A Journalist Recounts Her Great-Grandmother’s Story as a ‘Coolie Woman'”
San Francisco Public Radio aired a segment on the book during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on June 11, 2014. Here is KALW’s Sandip Roy, with a dispatch from Calcutta about the book: “When Gaiutra Bahadur came to India from America, the anxiety about women’s safety was at fever pitch. But when it comes to women going out by themselves, Bahadur comes from a family where the bar was set pretty high.”
The Boston Globe featured a joint event with Vivek Bald, author of Bengali Harlem.
“Enigmas & Arrivals,” profile in Caribbean Beat Magazine: “As she contemplates … uncomfortable matters, the poise of Bahadur’s narrative voice is remarkable. So is her ability to weave her own story into history, and vice versa.”
The Times of London writes on how “Coolie Woman” reveals the role of Scots in indenture.
The Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI 99.5FM in New York broadcast a segment on Coolie Woman: “In a sweeping work of historical narrative, Gaiutra Bahadur traces the steps of her great grandmother’s voyage from colonial India to Guiana as a so-called ‘coolie’ or indentured servant. Through meticulous research and raw storytelling, Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture, recasts a humble woman’s life of hardship in a fresh light, exploring the crossroads between Asian migration and slavery, revealing how gender and sexuality intersected with the social turmoil of the emergent Indian diaspora.”
First Post in India writes about how indentured women were “the unacknowledged foremothers” of today’s migrant laborers in a comprehensive feature on Coolie Woman.
The Indian Express wrote about my trip to Calcutta, the point of departure for the majority of indentured Indians, and the process of interviewing relatives about the taboo subject of sexuality.
In “The Books of Exodus” in The Indian Express, book editor Pratik Kanjilal counts Coolie Woman as part of “a fresh wavelet of diasporic writing,” including Sunil Amrith’s Crossing the Bay of Bengal and Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, that shows how “globalization was once a tragic story of forced displacement and loss.”