The Last Jews Of Kerala

Edna Fernandes

Published: 3 August 2009
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 272 pages
ISBN: 9781846270994


Separated by a narrow stretch of swamp-like waters, and distinguished by the colour of their skin, the Black Jews and the White Jews have been locked in a rancorous feud for centuries. Only now, when their combined number has diminished to fewer than fifty and they are on the threshold of extinction, have the two remaining Jewish communities in south India begun to realise that their destiny, and their undoing, is the same. Living in Cochin alongside this last generation, Edna Fernandes tells their story from the illustrious arrival of their ancestors from the court of King Solomon, through their long heyday of wealth, tolerance and privilege to their present twilight existence, as synagogues crumble into disuse and weddings become a thing of the past, leaving only funerals.

About the author

Image of Edna Fernandes

Edna Fernandes is a British Indian journalist who was born in Nairobi and grew up in London. She is a Special Correspondent for the Mail on Sunday newspaper, writing international reportage features, and she also writes for History Today. A former foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and political correspondent for Reuters in London, her articles have been reproduced in newspapers around the world. Her first book Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism was shortlisted for the UK's 2008 Index on Censorship TR Fyvel prize and nominated for India's Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Fernandes' new book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was shortlisted for India's 2009 Vodafone Crossword Literary prize. It is also a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year. More about the author


‘A touching, investigative account ... Fernandes movingly captures the sombre, embattled mood of this population in countdown mode’



‘Fernandes' material is fascinating ... The story of these Jews is so compelling and the author's reporting of it so assiduous ... Indeed, she has unearthed gems’

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