Tuesday, March 7th


Writing the Stories of Post-Partition India: Book Talk with author Jyoti Thottam

Event poster featuring a photo of the colorful book cover for Sisters of Mokama with a photo of the author wearing a white blouse and dark trousers on a lake.

The Berkeley Journalism South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), in co-sponsorship with the Institute for South Asian Studies, warmly invite you to “Writing the Stories of Post-Partition India: A Book talk on Sisters of Mokama”, with author and NYT opinion editor Jyoti Thottam. “Sisters Of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India” is 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.

Food and refreshments will be provided.

About Jyoti Thottam

Jyoti Thottam is a senior Opinion Editor at The New York Times, and was previously 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, graduated from Yale and Columbia, and now lives with her family in Brooklyn. Her first book, Sisters Of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India, was published by Penguin Random House in April of 2022.

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.


Photograph of Geeta Anand wearing a dark suit jacket over a black and white blouse in front of white columns.

Geeta Anand, Dean of Berkeley Journalism

Geeta Anand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who serves as dean and professor at Berkeley Journalism. Her stories on corporate corruption won the Wall Street Journal a Pulitzer Prize in 2002, and she was lead reporter in a series on healthcare that was a finalist in 2003. She wrote the non-fiction book, The Cure, about a dad’s fight to save his kids by starting a biotech company to make a medicine for their untreatable illness, which was made into the Harrison Ford movie Extraordinary Measures in 2010. She worked as a journalist for 27 years, most recently as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in India.

Varun Srikanth

Varun Srikanth (’24) is a 1st year documentary student at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He grew up in Bangalore, in southern India. As a journalist, he’s interested in covering issues of conflict zones and healthcare and education infrastructure in the global south.


Institute for South Asian Studies


Get directions to


RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/jyotithottam-sp23. The event will also be live-streamed via YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/jyotithottam-sp23-livestream.


This is a FREE event.
Tax-deductible donations from the J-School community help make this possible.

No tickets required


Daniel Marquez