Motiba's Tattoos: A Granddaughter's Journey Into Her Indian Family's Past

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PublicAffairs, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 289 pages
3 Reviews
This is the story of the Indian Diaspora - the great migration of Indians from their homeland to the New World - through one woman's memories of her remarkable family. Delving back into the world into which her grandmother was born in a tiny village in Kathiawar, India, Mira Kamdar begins a wondrous journey into the past. She follows her family as it emigrates from the feudal, rural India of 1900 to the bustling streets of Rangoon in the 1920s and 1930s. After a harrowing flight out of war-torn Burma, the family returns to their profitable businesses, only to be stripped of everything and expelled by the Burmese dictatorship in the early 1960s. The family begins a new life in Bombay. It is there that they are first introduced to America. Hollywood captures the imagination of Kamdar's father, who, at the age of nineteen, is packed off to make the family's fortune in the United States. We witness his travails as one of the first Indian immigrants to the US in the 1950's and see how his children and grandchildren grapple with a multi-ethnic identity in post-modern America.

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Review: Motiba's Tattoos

User Review  - Phredric - Goodreads

The section on Burma is fascinating, I had no idea of the history and expulsion of the Indian community. Rest was very dry and hard to get through. Read full review

Review: Motiba's Tattoos: A Granddaughter's Journey Into Her Indian Family's Past

User Review  - Cicely - Goodreads

A great look at Indian culture. Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Mira Kamdar is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute at New School University.

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