Memoirs and Coffee Meets Tomorrow

October 24, 2011 // Filed under Blog

Bernardsville Library book group, Memoirs and Coffee, will discuss The Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil at its next meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, at 10:30 a.m.  Memoirs and Coffee is the library’s open-invitation book discussion group dedicated to reading memoirs.  Staff member Pat Kennedy-Grant is the coordinator for this group, which meets monthly in the Community Room.  New members are always welcomed.

Author Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan in 2001 as a humanitarian aid volunteer, but soon doubted her ability to offer substantive skills.  Her training had been in hairdressing, yet Westerners and Afghan women swiftly sought her out once they learned this.  Before Taliban rule, Afghan women had experienced success running beauty salons, and now they hungered to reestablish themselves in the beauty business.  Rodriguez gathered sponsors who enabled her to found the Kabul Beauty School in 2003.

Friendships and stories shared among these women and the author reveal what some Afghan women must contend with in their culture.  Random House published this book in 2007 and offers these notes, “…within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings.”

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