Fragmented Feminism: Life and Letters of Anandibai Joshee, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fragmented Feminism

Life and Letters of Anandibai Joshee, 1st Edition

By Meera Kosambi

Edited by Ramaswamy Ram, Aban Mukherji, Kohatkar Madhavi

Routledge India

268 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138384866
pub: 2019-05-30
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"This book is a search for ‘the real Anandibai Joshee’——a search in which the readers are invited to participate."

In her short and eventful life, Anandibai Joshee, the first Indian woman to earn a medical degree, broke many stereotypes. Literate at a time when when it was taboo for a girl to ‘pick up a paper’, or even attend school, she was courageous, articulate, and assertive. And ambitious. Fueled by a desire to improve the healthcare that was available to Indian women at that time, she travelled across the seas to the United States to study medicine.

Meera Kosambi’s biography of Anandibaiis more than just a retelling of the life of a woman who was ahead of her times. Drawing on a host of narratives, Kosambi recovers Anandibai’s many voices that have been submerged in history — that of a conflicted feminist, a nationalist, and a reformer among others — and her engagement with the world at large.

This volume is a testament to Meera Kosambi’s commitment to social history. When she passed away in 2015, she left an incomplete manuscript that has painstakingly been put together by the editors. Drawing on archival research, including a host of Anandibai’s letters, her poems in Marathi, newspaper reports and rare photographs, this book will be of immense interest to scholars and researchers of modern Indian history, sociology, gender, and South Asian studies.

Table of Contents


Introduction by Aban Mukherji




Part I: New Horizons


1. Early Life

2. An American Connection

3. An Indo-American Dialogue

4. The Bengal Interlude: Calcutta

5. The Bengal Interlude: Serampore

6. ‘Why Do I Go To America?’


Part II: A Passage to America

7. Crossing the Seas

8. Cultural Encounters

9. Entry into Medical College

10. Life in Philadelphia

11. A Family Reunion

12. Completing College

13. Graduation and After


Part III: The Return of the Native


14. Homeward Bound

15. The Last Flicker

16. A Death Mourned and Lives Resumed

About the Author/Editors

Aban Mukherji is a freelance writer and translator. She has a Masters in History and has co-translated (with Tulsi Vatsal) Karan Gehlo, the first Gujarati novel published in 1866. She has contributed articles to various publications.

Madhavi Kohatkar retired as Professor in Sanskrit Dictionary Project, Deccan College, Pune. She has a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Pune University and working knowledge of German, Russian, Tibetan, and Japanese. She has been invited for seminars and conferences in USA, Japan and Romania; and was invited to Japan for a joint project undertaken by China and Japan. She has nine books and more than hundred published articles in English, Sanskrit and Marathi to her credit.

Ram Ramaswamy has recently retired from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi where he taught in the School of Physical Sciences since 1986. He has had a sustained interest in the work of Meera Kosambi, her father D.D. Kosambi and grandfather D Kosambi.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
HISTORY / Social History