Leprosy and a Life in South India : Journeys with a Tamil Brahmin, Hardback Book

Leprosy and a Life in South India : Journeys with a Tamil Brahmin Hardback


Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork as well as many hours of interviews, Leprosy and a Life in South India: Journeys with a Tamil Brahmin documents the life story of Das, a South Indian Brahmin born in the newly postcolonial India of the early 1950s.

After being diagnosed with leprosy, Das spent over a decade on the streets of Bombay and Madras learning to survive as an unofficial station porter, bellhop, and sometimes tourist guide.

Das's story unfolds against a backdrop of everyday violence and hardship in South India.

Re-investigated through the prism of an individual life, what are often presented as the rigid social categories of caste, religion, and kinship are revealed in fresh new ways.

Through this life history account, James Staples offers a unique take on what it is to be an Indian in postcolonial India.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 204 pages, 1 maps
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social & cultural anthropology
  • ISBN: 9780739187340

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