Amma’s Daughters

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A Memoir

by Meenal Shrivastava

book cover

As a precocious young girl, Surekha knew very little about the details of her mother Amma’s unusual past and that of Babu, her mysterious and sometimes absent father. The tense, uncertain family life created by her parents’ distant and fractious marriage and their separate ambitions informs her every action and emotion. Then one evening, in a moment of uncharacteristic transparency and vulnerability, Amma tells Surekha and her older sister Didi of the family tragedy that changed the course of her life. Finally, the daughters begin to understand the source of their mother’s deep commitment to the Indian nationalist movement and her seemingly unending willingness to sacrifice in the name of that pursuit.

In this re-memory based on the published and unpublished work of Amma and Surekha, Meenal Shrivastava, Surekha’s daughter, uncovers the history of the female foot soldiers of Gandhi’s national movement in the early twentieth century. As Meenal weaves these written accounts together with archival research and family history, she gives voice and honour to the hundreds of thousands of largely forgotten or unacknowledged women who, threatened with imprisonment for treason and sedition, relentlessly and selflessly gave toward the revolution.

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Publisher: Athabasca University Press
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About the Author

Meenal Shrivastava is professor and academic coordinator of political economy and global studies. View Meenal's faculty page.


Country Roads

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Memoirs from Rural Canada

Book Cover: Country Roads

Edited by Pam Chamberlain

Rural people, places, and communities vary greatly in a country as geographically vast and culturally diverse as Canada. For some, the country was a place of happiness and belonging; for others, it was a source of hardship and sorrow. For many, it was both. Some writers grew up loving their rural homes, never wanting to leave. Others couldn’t wait to escape to the city.

From Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland, three generations of Canadians tell their stories of growing up in rural communities in Country Roads. The writers–including journalist Pamela Wallin, NHL coach Brent Sutter, and award-winning authors Sharon Butala and Rudy Wiebe–share one thing in common: they were all country kids whose upbringing profoundly impacted their identities. The thirty-two memoirs in Country Roads are sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, but always engaging.

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Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
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