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Published on Sep 23, 2013 by

Written for Elle

Readers' Prize Picks: October 2013


Phyllis Chesler's memoir takes us on a hypnotic journey through Afghanistan's bloody past, present, and tentative future. Using her journal, written while she was a young bride in Kabul, and later conversations with her ex-husband, Chesler weaves the tale of a naïve Jewish-American college student who falls in love with an Afghan Muslim only to flee from him when she becomes a prisoner in their new home. The reader is swept away by Chesler's passion and urgency. Her memoir is a call to action for women's rights everywhere. — Ashley Cambers, Perrysburg, OH

There is something naïve and intriguing about an American woman who marries a Middle Eastern man and returns home with him, only to discover she's not living in a palace decorated with jewels or being served exotic meals. In some respects this book reads like an academic piece, the author's experiences cross-referenced with historical and political events and other authors' works. The title of the book does not do it justice; it is a work of art that spans more than five decades and shares the intimate story of an enduring friendship. — Kathryn Kandas, Princeton, WV


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