Jyoti Thottam: Sisters of Mokama

Event date: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 7:00pm
2720 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

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"Sisters of Mokama is proof that faith and courage does move mountains." -- Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
 
The never-before-told story of six intrepid Kentucky nuns, their journey to build a hospital in the poorest state in India, and the Indian nurses whose lives would never be the same


New York Times editor Jyoti Thottam’s mother was part of an extraordinary group of Indian women. Born in 1946, a time when few women dared to leave their house without the protection of a man, she left home by herself at just fifteen years old and traveled to Bihar—an impoverished and isolated state in northern India that had been one of the bloodiest regions of Partition—in order to train to be a nurse under the tutelage of the determined and resourceful Appalachian nuns who ran Nazareth Hospital. Like Thottam’s mother’s journey, the hospital was a radical undertaking: it was run almost entirely by women, who insisted on giving the highest possible standard of care to everyone who walked through its doors, regardless of caste or religion.
 
Fascinated by her mother’s story, Thottam set out to discover the full story of Nazareth Hospital, which had been established in 1947 by six nuns from Kentucky. With no knowledge of Hindi, and the awareness that they would likely never see their families again, the sisters had traveled to the small town of Mokama determined to live up to the pioneer spirit of their order, founded in the rough hills of the Kentucky frontier. A year later, they opened the doors of the hospital; soon they began taking in young Indian women as nursing students, offering them an opportunity that would change their lives. One of those women, of course, was Thottam’s mother.
 
In Sisters of Mokama, Thottam draws upon twenty years’ worth of research to tell this inspiring story for the first time. She brings to life the hopes, struggles, and accomplishments of these ordinary women—both American and Indian—who succeeded against the odds during the tumult and trauma of the years after World War II and Partition. Pain and loss were everywhere for the women of that time, but the collapse of the old orders provided the women of Nazareth Hospital with an opening—a chance to create for themselves lives that would never have been possible otherwise.

 

 

Jyoti Thottam is a senior Opinion editor at The New York Times. Prior to joining the Times, she was a reporter, editor and foreign correspondent. From 2008 to 2012, she was Time’s South Asia Bureau Chief in New Delhi, where she wrote numerous cover stories, including award-winning stories about the Ganges River and the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Born in India, she grew up in Texas and graduated from Yale and Columbia. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

 

You can get the book on the registration page, but it’s cheaper if you link below because we don’t pay extra service fees. Whatever is more convenient for you, we love to sell you books!

Mobility device access info:

While our store has ramp access to the right of the main entrance, the event space is more easily accessed by entering at Bayly Avenue. Please call the store when you arrive and we will be happy to welcome you via this entrance. This door is next to a loading zone for easy car access, and our parking lot reserved ADA spots are also close to this entrance.

Sisters of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525522355
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Viking - April 12th, 2022

"Sisters of Mokama is proof that faith and courage does move mountains." -- Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
 
The never-before-told story of six intrepid Kentucky nuns, their journey to build a hospital in the poorest state in India, and the Indian nurses whose lives would never be the same


Event Category Terms: 

Event Summary: 

The never-before-told story of six intrepid Kentucky nuns, their journey to India, & the Indian nurses whose lives would never be the same.