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Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents Hardcover – March 18, 2009

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Imported from USA

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hajratwala, a journalist at the San Jose Mercury News, tells of the Indian diaspora
experience through a part-personal, part-reported story of her extended family. Hailing from the small northwest Indian
region of Gujarat, her family's ancient origins begin with the myth of a race of warriors and kings. Their migration
begins in the wake of the famine of 1899, when Hajratwala's great-grandfather Motiram left to learn the tailor's craft
in Fiji, leaving his wife and children behind. In the same, tireless spirit echoed in generations to come, Motiram
founded a family business in his new home, then built it with the support of relatives who followed to join him. His
shop eventually became one of the largest department stores in the South Pacific isles. Other family branches developed
in South Africa; the U.S., where Hajratwala's parents immigrated as part of India's earliest wave of brain drain; and
other locales, totaling nine countries in five continents. Throughout sojourns across cultures and across time, the
family endures—and succeeds—in spite of discrimination and bigotry. Told with the probing detail of a reporter, the
fluid voice of a poet and the inspired vision of a young woman who walks in many worlds, Hajratwala's story offers an
engaging account of what may be one of the fastest-growing diasporas in the world. (Mar.)
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"In LEAVING INDIA, Minal Hajratwala deftly explores [the India] diaspora... LEAVING INDIA is meticulously researched and
evocatively written."--Washington Post

"LEAVING INDIA is a rich, entertaining and illuminating story." --San Francisco Chronicle

"I love Minal Hajratwala's book LEAVING INDIA. It is what I imagine India itself to be like: incomparable, sprawling,
rich, surprising, very old and wise and forever capable of re-creating itself, no matter where pieces of it lands. Minal
Hajratwala is a fine daughter of the continent, bringing insight, intelligence and compassion to the lives and sojourns
of her far-flung kin. For those of us who have needed to understand the presence of so many Indians in our various
lands, this book is a wonderful primer." –Alice Walker

"Minal Hajratwala's LEAVING INDIA is a fascinating history that kept me up late into the night--and I suspect it will do
the same for most readers. Filled with amazing and compelling family stories, it will strike a chord in anyone whose
people have come from elsewhere--and today, in America, that's most of us! I am filled with admiration at Minal's
honesty and the careful beauty of her language. I learned so much, through the story of this one family, about the
tragedies and triumphs of the Indian diaspora."--Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of The Palace of Illusions

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