How does a liberal American girl in red suede boots end up teaching English to conservative Muslim Iraqis in headscarves?
Gretchen Berg has met the recession: she has eaten cereal for dinner, given up the gym membership, and come face to face with looming unemployment. To cope, she decided to uproot her life and move to the Middle East. She expected to make some good money, pay off some bad debt, and take some photos of camels. She did not expect to feel at home. She did not expect to fall for a student. She did not expect Diet Coke withdrawal.
Irreverent, hilarious, and completely relevant, I Have Iraq in My Shoe takes a single, broke, fashion-conscious American female who prefers Project Runaway to CNN and tosses her into Iraq in exchange for cash and vacation time.
Watch the desert sand fly!
Secrets of a Fortune Cookie: A Memoir describes the harrowing journey of author Vanessa Yang, a young woman of Chinese descent, who was born in Singapore and educated in schools across the globe.
She experienced a traditional Asian-style upbringing, with no consideration to social development. As a strictly raised Chinese Singaporean expatriate student in international schools, she was also influenced by her friends and peersand their Western ideals. Her mothers relentless Eastern upbringing, dominated by an isolated focus on academics alone, was not a productive fit to a teenagers growing desires to fit in and find encouragement and love.
These disparate experiences and lifestyles were the seeds of her vicious teen rebellion against everything her parents honored, and it was these acts of defiance that ultimately climaxed her insecurities. Satirically funny and heartrending by turns, her story of independent self-discovery brings to light, the aptly pondered detriments of the causes and consequences of stereotypical Asian-style parenting.
In the end, the clash of cultures she and her sisters faced drove her to resort to drastic measures in order to find the love and confidence she never received at home. A remarkable memoir with valuable life lessons, Secrets of a Fortune Cookie offers an inspiring look at a young womans turbulent past.
Layla is just thirteen when the men with the beards and guns burn down her beloved father’s school and begin to terrorise the Swat valley region of Pakistan.
She has to flee, exchanging the tranquil beauty of the Himalayas for the squalor of a camp for refugees from the Taliban near Peshawar. With her life torn apart by tragedy, Layla must choose between the old fashioned way of life with her family - or a journey into independence which could threaten her very survival.
Trying to find out what lies behind mysterious deaths at the camp is foreign correspondent Ellen Thomas. As a strong woman in a man’s world, Ellen is used to risking her life to uncover the truth. United by the gentle schoolteacher who had risked his life to save books, the paths of Layla and Ellen collide in a common cause.