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The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir [Paperback]

Sudha Koul
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 July 2002
This is the tale of the author's life growing up in a beautiful, remote valley in Kashmir. It is a memoir of the exotic food, ancient folklore, bawdy wedding traditions, gossamer-soft pashminas and the rhythms and colours of the valley itself that made up the author's childhood, and the traditional ways that are gradually being lost to younger generations. Set against this is the wider story of Kashmir's painful history, as it is torn apart by fighting between Muslims and Hindus, with repercussions that are being felt across the modern world.

Frequently Bought Together

The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir + Curfewed Night: A Frontline Memoir of Life, Love and War in Kashmir + The Wonder House
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; 1st edition (15 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755311167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755311163
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 758,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sudha Koul was born in Kashmir the year that India was partitioned. Hers was one of the few Hindu families living in the predominantly Muslim area, though as a child the two cultures lived harmoniously with their neighbours. Sudha was educated in an Irish nuns' school in the valley and eventually became the first Kashmiri woman in the Indian Administrative Service, working as a roving magistrate in remote Indian villages. She returned to Kashmir only to witness it gradually ripping itself apart through religious bigotry and political incompetence. Married with two daughters, she now lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read! 25 July 2003
This book is an epitaph to a state that has been destroyed by war.
It's for all those people who never had the chance to visit Kashmir before the troubles started and for all those who will never visit because it is still very dangerous. Sudha Koul gives a very personal account of the Kashmir of her youth. Sometimes I thought that perhaps in hindsight things looked a little rosier to her than they really might have been. But, it is still a very interesting account of a way of life that has just about died out.
The main reason why I liked this book so much was because of Mrs Koul's eye for small details. She writes about every day things like the "kangri" - a portable firepot that Kashmiris used to carry around to keep warm as well as to dry clothes, to burn incense in and to warm milk!
Her book ends in the USA where she strives to bring up her children as Americans, but constantly longs for 'home' - or at least, the home she knew as a child.
Definitely worth a read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
'The Tiger Ladies' transports the reader back in time to a once-beautiful region whose magnificent lakes and forests come alive through Sudha Koul's prose elegant and precisely detailed prose. Her unusual use of structure - she has roughly divided her memoir into three long 'sections' instead of using conventional chapters - perfectly complements the autobiographical nature of this work, as it shows that life is fluid and ongoing and cannot be sandwiched into neat compartments. This matches the themes of tradition and heritage that are interwoven in the text.
After I had formed a warm attachment to Sudha's hot-tempered and ever-laughing grandmother, picnicked with them on a boat belonging to an old milk-mother, and made offerings alongside the family at a remote temple, I wanted to cry in pain when Koul turned her pen to the valley's destruction. Her agonising description of her family's exile and the politics that destroyed the Kashmir they knew adds an ironic twist to the tale: 'tiger ladies' may be names bestowed on Hindu goddesses, and Koul may draw parallels between them and the women of Kashmir, but in the end no deity steps forward to avert the tragedy.
A must-read for anyone who has ever wondered what it must feel like to lose home, heritage, and everything they have ever known.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing read 28 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great insight into the Kashmiri life, which is sadly gone. beautifully written. I could almost smell the spices cooking in the Grandmothers kitchen. Family life, so valued, although wouldn't like being a daughter in law, if I wasn't accepted by my husbands mother! Great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and efficient service 27 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived quickly and is in very good condition. I bought it for a friend who is absolutely delighted with it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Conflict in Kashmir 8 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great insider view of the demise of Kashmir as an independent state. It is sad to see the tolerant and co-operative relationships between Hindi and Muslim people sliding into violence and intolerance. Also what seems to have been a beautiful country destroyed by conflict.
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