Chapter 12 ramp-up

My process of writing a chapter has evolved considerably since I first started this project over five years ago.

The first few chapters were challenging as I was struggling (in my own mind) with my right and authority to tell this story. Also, I did not know how much primary information would be available and I worried about creating a richly layered narrative. Finally, there was the challenge of finding a publisher. I wondered about whether it made sense to pursue the project if a publisher could not be found.

In contrast, chapters nine through eleven almost wrote themselves because by then I had overcome my doubts and knew I had plenty of primary sources. Most important, the “what’s the point” question became irrelevant. The “point” became the wonderful story and my need to tell it as best I can. In a sense, I found answers to the “what’s the point” question in these questions: If not now, then when? If not this, then what? Why not me?

So, I have been in a meditative state over the last couple of weeks, as I have been reading and (subconsciously) digesting the available information and trying to arrange it in a narrative arc. Chapter 12 covers 1886 and below is its outline:

  1. Anandi’s graduation
  2. Her thesis – what it tells us about her and about that era in Indian women’s health
  3. Job offer from India and congratulations from the Queen
  4. Deteriorating health
  5. Gopal’s continuing adventures
  6. Internship in Boston
  7. Preparing to return – letter from mother, to mother-in-law
  8. Among the Bostonians
  9. Return to India
  10. Reception in Mumbai, Pune

Since I mostly write on the weekends, I expect it will take me about two months to complete this chapter.


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