Drawing on her grandmothers autobiography, Smriti ki Shrinkhalayen (Chain of Memories, published during the SinoIndian war of 1962), Ammas sole surviving diary, conversations with family members and people associated with Amma, and rigorous archival work, Shrivastava crafts a memoir that is both engagingly imaginative and archival.
At the same time, Ammas Daughters paints a broader canvas than just a family history--another reason for which I emphasize the pluralized form of "daughters." Viewed from another angle, Ammas life history is also a gift to future generations of women and men in India besides being a tribute to "ordinary women who were quietly extraordinary" and played a major, although largely undocumented, role in the anticolonial movement.
"The desert--the Egyptian desert of the Abbas and Ammas
, but also our own spiritual desert--has a double quality: It is wilderness and paradise.