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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
In this autobiography, Dr. Jay Raman sets out his life and times and how they contributed to his intellectual formation as a person and as a medical practitioner. From the Land of Spice to the Land of Oil: An Immigrant Physician’s Tale of His Life is an exemplary illustration of a life well-examined. It transcends the definition of what an autobiography is; it is a witness account of the historical events of the times and places that he has inhabited. By blending his own realities in the geographic locations that have provided him with profound ideas and perspectives, what you get is an interesting book about the aspects of the author’s times that blend with historical events as he sees them. Raman is fortunate enough to have been born in 1945 and to have lived through significant times in human history. From his keen description of his birthplace in Kerala, he takes you on a chronological journey of his life and offers perspectives on the great changes that the world has experienced that include the rise of China and the recent pandemic.
Dr. Jay Raman’s story is one that is well-told. Where most autobiographies are too self-centered, From the Land of Spice to the Land of Oil does not stop as a self-revealing record. It also yields information on the structure, dynamics, and functioning of a world in facing life-altering events. Raman writes with profound simplicity. He devotes himself to demonstrating at successive events in history the development and integration of his experiences. What emerges is the significance of one common man’s existence. His torrent of reflections and reminiscences reveal a solid reality and a commitment to the retention of relevant thoughts. It is my pleasure to recommend this book for your reading pleasure for the merits of its writing and content.