The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir

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Beacon Press, 2003 - Social Science - 218 pages
"This magical, sensuous memoir . . . casts its quiet spell over the reader. The writing is so evocative that you feel you are there, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling this once enchanted place." -Scotia W. MacCrae, Philadelphia Inquirer Sitting in her grandmother Dhanna's kitchen, surrounded by the aromas of mint and the smoke of a hookah, warmed by the kangri tucked beneath her thighs, young Sudha Koul listened to tales of She Who Fears Nothing: The Tiger Lady, stories Sudha would repeat to her own daughters in time, though in a kitchen many thousands of miles away from her beloved Kashmir. This is a magical memoir of a land now consumed by political and religious turmoil, a richly detailed story of a girl's passage into maturity, marriage, and motherhood in the midst of an exquisite and fragile world that will never be entirely the same. "The Tiger Ladies is immensely, gracefully sad, an elegy for the customs and the courtliness of an irrecoverable civilization. Yet there is a sensuality running through her story . . . provided by Ms. Koul's devotion to Kashmiri cuisine and her description of how she has, through her kitchen, sought to keep alive the old Kashmiri ways." -Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal "For those who only associate Kashmir with the violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, Koul's lovely, elegiac memoir The Tiger Ladies shows that the isolated vale in the Himalayas was a heaven before it became a hell." -Bryan Walsh, Time ASIA "Sudha Koul's writing is transportive, evoking beautifully the Kashmir we keep in our hearts. Her book is at once a history, memoir, and lesson; the author is both to be congratulated and thanked." -Indira Ganesan, author of Inheritance and The Journey Sudha Koul, like Indira Gandhi and her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was born a Kashmiri Brahmin, in 1947, the year of the partition of India and Pakistan by the British and the first stirrings of fundamentalism in Kashmir. She completed her graduate education and become a magistrate in India before emigrating with her husband to the United States. Koul is the author of Curries without Worries and Come with Me to India: On a Wondrous Voyage through Time. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
 

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User Review  - smik - www.librarything.com

I visited Kashmir in 1975, stayed in a house boat on Lake Dal, bought some lacquerware in Srinigar which I still have, visited the Mughal Gardens, and thought the place was fabulous. But simmering ... Read full review

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User Review  - sbsolter - LibraryThing

With lyrical and evocative writing, Koul describes her childhood growing up in a beautiful and somewhat idyllic Kashmir before the ravages of war took over. I enjoyed this lovely window into another ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Sudha Koul, like Indira Gandhi and her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was born a Kashmiri Brahmin, in 1947, the year of the partition of India and Pakistan by the British and the first stirrings of fundamentalism in Kashmir. She completed her graduate education and become a magistrate in India before emigrating with her husband to the United States. Koul is the author of Curries without Worries and Come with Me to India: On a Wondrous Voyage through Time. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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