THE LIVES OF FREDA: THE BLOG
A real thrill at the weekend - a chance to talk about Freda Bedi and The Lives of Freda in the wonderful setting of the Madras Literary Society. It's India's oldest lending library with a history stretching back over 200 years and the Society has been in its current, spectacular, premises on Chennai's College Road for well over a century.
An attentive and well-informed audience came along to the event, which was co-hosted by the MLS and the Chennai chapter of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The photo above is a birds-eye view of proceedings - taken from the highest level of the library's vertiginous book stacks - as I am being introduced by Sujatha Shankar of INTACH.
These photographs were taken by Nandan Sankriti Kaushik - many thanks Nandan for permission to post them here.
Quite the most exciting moment was when I heard that a network of women's reading groups across Tamil Nadu had bought eight copies of the biography, which has been sent to different groups with an informal translation of key points of the biography into Tamil. I was told that the groups has been enthusiastic about the story of a woman who challenged convention and moulded her own life.
And I'm adding a couple of other photos - group photos - from the weekend event at the MLS:
A really warm review of The Lives of Freda has just appeared in the Indian Journalism Review, a long-running blog run by Krishna Prasad, former editor of Outlook magazine. The review focusses on Freda's column for the Tribune in the 1940s, 'From a Woman's Window'. He suggests that this may have been the first column in an Indian paper by a woman journalist addressing women's issues.
Do give the review a read: https://indianjournalismreview.com/2019/03/23/how-a-newspaper-editor-inspired-a-spunky-english-mom-to-name-her-first-son-ranga-the-amazing-life-and-times-of-possibly-indias-first-woman-columnist-freda-bedi/
Separately, the Millennium Post has run an excerpt from the biography.
The Lives of Freda
- a blog about my biography of Freda Bedi