The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So, re-re yes. What do you want to start with this one? I think we should start with the author's background. and. Just like the inspiration behind Irvine. So. John Massey was born in England and she was raised in the US right now, she lives in Baltimore and her parents are from India and Germany. So she did a lot of traveling. She actually wrote another mystery series back in the nineties which was set in Tokyo while she was living in Japan and it's the Ray Chamara mystery series. But this book was more in the of own voices She did an incredible amount of research for the book I don't know if the people are goods forums read the acknowledgments at the very back but I tend to read all of the acknowledgments because I. I'm usually really curious as to who the author thank and it gives me like a sense of. Their journey when it came to writing the book and she. Massey doesn't have a background in law. She reached out to people reached out to legal historians at universities in. The US who specialize in South Asian law and also in Bombay she contacted magazine editors who are familiar with Parsi customs she went she actually went to Mumbai and she visited all of the historical institutions she reached out to like even railway experts. So she could figure out like how people were able to travel from one place to another and even with the food she I think she interviewed a bunch of like food writers as well. So like the food descriptions in this book are fantastic and our main character per wien is actually inspired by two. Women, attorneys. One of them was Cornelius One of them was Cornelius She was the first woman to read law at Oxford, and the first woman to take the British law exam in eighteen ninety to eighteen, ninety two that's a lot earlier than I would expect the first. First Indian woman to to study law, and the other women that appropriate is based on is Mathon Totta lung who also studied law in Oxford and whisk first woman admitted to the Bombay bar a back in one thousand, nine, hundred, twenty, three. So. Yeah like per Venus. This this book is set in the nineteen twenties. So yeah. It's actually it's really interesting that it's actually based on women who did practice law so Yeah. I mean it's I? Don't think reunite can claim to be experts in the cultures of India but this book real you can tell that the author did a lot of research especially to portray like Mumbai such Mambi during this time period, which was a pre partition it was it depicts a Mumbai that's very multicultural multifaith like a lot of different. People Customs Cultures Religions, and even value sets that kind of coexisting with each other which made for really interesting setting especially in the context of per wien enter father Jamshedi as lawyers who had to. Navigate these. Waters right because every single community has their own set of loss at they have to understand and know how to argue and just also takes place on the backdrop of this was when India was still in imperial colony, right is still part of the British empire and so you have the added. wrinkle of a colonizing power in the form of white people in the mix as well. Yeah Like you said, I'm I'm not an expert with a one thousand, nine, hundred twenty s India But in terms of like England nineteen twenties. So that was during George, the fifth Who was the grandson of Queen Victoria? It's so it's to rains after the Victorian era. So very the the the dad of the King's speech King Yes yes. So this was during time where there was a rise in socialism. And just. I. Think it was like at the height of the British empire and then it crumbled.

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