Review: ‘My Name is Mary Sutter’ by Robin Oliveira

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata

This riveting saga takes place in New York, during the American Civil War in 1861. Enter Mary Sutter, much respected, remarkable and adept midwife who’s sole intent is to become a surgeon and to prove equal to any man. But sadly, medical schools refuse to teach women and repeatedly turn her down. Mary suffering from a broken heart, heads off to Washington DC where Dorothea Dix having persuaded Abraham Lincoln, recruits a band of nurses to tend the Civil war wounded and, serve the army doctors. Further, she is assisted and encouraged by two surgeons who both, infatuated, fall for her and help her in every possible way in the hope that one day, she will establish her medical career. The book chronicles not only the story of miss Sutter but of each and every soldier involved in the war suffering at the hands of corrupt politicians, incompetent generals and surgeons who are forced to amputate several limbs in filthy and noxious camp sites.

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Review: “The Story of India” by Michael Wood

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

It is only seldom when one gets to see a documentary series which is visually so extravagant, narrated with such depth and one that almost covers the entire historical saga of a country that has withstood the ravages of time. Michael Wood’s ‘The Story of India’ is a BBC TV documentary series that covers the 10,000 year history of the Indian Subcontinent in six episodes. Wood traverses the length and breadth of India, meets the local people, archaeologists, historians and gathers immense information and showcases them with his own knowledge, adding flavor to the episodes.

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A Commentary on the Biography ‘Cornelia Sorabjee: India’s Pioneer Woman Lawyer’

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

On reading the biography ‘Cornelia Sorabjee: India’s Pioneer Woman Lawyer‘, one is bound to fall in love with Suparna Gooptu’s take on the legal luminary Cornelia Sorabji who was the first woman to study law in Oxford and, India’s second woman advocate.

Cornelia, though being a pioneer in multiple ways at a time when the colonial professional world was marked by a strong racial and gender bias, failed to occupy the centre stage in colonial India, either as a professional, or in politics, or even in social reform. The book analyzes the political, social and cultural milieu in which she spent her childhood and youth, charts out the implications of her birth in an Indian Christian family, examines the circumstances that made her the first Indian woman to study law, documents her experience in the legal profession and colonial bureaucracy, and understands why and with what consequences she remained a firm loyalist of the British Empire and a critic of mainstream Indian nationalist politics. The author succeeds in doing so (more…)