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Book Title: Motiba's Tattoos|
The author of the book: Mira Kamdar
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Reader ratings: 6.3
Date of issue: September 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780452282698
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 34.87 MB
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"From the Bible to the Odyssey to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, the journey or quest has been a staple motif of Western literature. Motiba's Tattoos is a welcome addition to that list." (The Washington Post)
Mira Kamdar was born in the United States to an Indian father and a Danish-American mother. In this fascinating memoir, she sets out to rediscover her family's story by tracing its journey from an isolated corner of India to the Web-wired world of twenty-first-century America.
Delving into the history of Motiba-the Gujarati word for grandmother-she follows the family's emigration from feudal India to Bombay where, in the city's Art Deco movie houses, they are introduced to postwar American life-Hollywood-style. Kamdar's father's journey to the U.S. in the '50s marks the beginning of the family's great westward Indian migration, and their subsequent struggle with multiethnic identity in postmodern California.
Deftly evoking lost times and places, Motiba's Tattoos explores the borderless world of Indian-Americans today. Told in rich, lyrical language, Kamdar's story becomes the story of every family who has ever assimilated into a new culture.
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Read information about the authorBorn to a Gujarati father raised in Burma and India and a Danish-American mother raised on a farm in Oregon, Mira Kamdar has navigated between different localities and identities her whole life. As a four-year-old, she asked her mother: “Which way am I half? Up and down? Or sideways?” She is still trying to find the answer to this question.Educated at Reed College, the Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California at Berkeley, Mira Kamdar studied philosophy with Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Michel Foucault and wrote a doctoral dissertation on the politics of mimesis in Diderot under the direction of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Unhappy teaching in America’s hinterland, she made her way to New York in the late 1980s where she began writing on current affairs and joined the World Policy Institute.
Mira Kamdar’s first book was a critically acclaimed memoir, Motiba’s Tattoos: A Granddaughter’s Journey from America into her Indian Family’s Past (Public Affairs 2000; Plume 2001). It was a 2000 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and won the 2002 Washington Book Award.
Her latest book is Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the World’s Largest Democracy and the Future of our World (Scribner 2008). The book has been translated and published in over a dozen foreign editions, including Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and French.
Mira Kamdar’s work has appeared in publications around the world, including Slate, The Washington Post, The Times of India, Daily News & Analysis, Outlook, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, World Policy Journal, Tehelka, Seminar, the Far Eastern Economic Review and YaleGlobal. She writes on issues that concern her deeply: globalization, climate change, agriculture and the food crisis, sustainability, consumption, violence, India, France and the United States.
Perfectly bilingual in French, she provides expert commentary to CNN International, Bloomberg TV, the BBC, MTV Iggy, National Public Radio, TV Ontario, Public Radio International, Radio France, TV 5 Monde and FR 3. A contributing editor to The Caravan magazine and a member of the editorial board of World Policy Journal, she writes the “Mot de l’Inde” column for Courrier International and blogs for Le Monde Diplomatique’s “Planète Asie” and the Huffington Post.
In 2010 – 2011, Mira Kamdar will be affiliated with the CEIAS (Centre des Etudes de l’Inde et l’Asie du Sud) at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) as a Fulbright Senior Scholar under the auspice of the Franco-American Commission for a project on Enlightenment images of India as they contributed to the construction of European identity.
Mira Kamdar is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute and an Associate Fellow at Asia Society in New York. She is a regular speaker on India and international affairs for university, business and community audiences and, circling back to her days as a budding academic, is teaching again in Montreal, New York and France. Her ambition is to continue to make a living as an essayist at large in the world, to bring philosophy back into her life and work, and to play jazz violin as brilliantly as Stephane Grappelli. She lives in Paris.
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