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An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoirby Phyllis Chesler
Synopses & Reviews
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husbands family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan familys attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husbands wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. An American Bride in Kabul re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.
"In 1961 renowned feminist, professor, and psychotherapist Chesler was as a young, intellectually curious Jewish woman intent on rebellion and freedom. She envisioned her marriage to a man she met in college, a Westernized Muslim from a wealthy Afghani family, as a romantic adventure filled with travel and intellectual pursuits; however, their visit to Afghanistan quickly turned into a living nightmare as Chesler became confined to the harem at his luxurious family compound. 'My unexpected house arrest was not as shocking as was my husband's refusal to acknowledge it as such,' Chesler writes. The author divides her engrossing memoir into two sections: her time as a young bride living with of one the wealthiest families in Afghanistan and struggling to return to the United States, and her husband's attempts to force her return to Afghanistan. Chesler candidly relates her continuing friendship with her former husband and his family over the last 50 years, detailing how life in Afghanistan forged her feminist perspective and how 9/11 altered the original focus of the memoir. Chesler adroitly blends her personal narrative with a riveting account of Afghanistan's troubled history, the ongoing Islamic/Islamist terrorism against Muslim civilians and the West, and the continuing struggle and courage of Afghan feminists. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel and Goderich." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A modern American woman reveals how her long-ago ordeal in a harem in Afghanistan led her to become a feminist leader and a legendary crusader for universal womens and human rights
"Engrossing...Chesler adroitly blends her personal narrative with a riveting account of Afghanistan's troubled history, the ongoing Islamic/Islamist terrorism against Muslim civilians and the West, and the continuing struggle and courage of Afghan feminists."--Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York, best-selling author, legendary feminist leader, and psychotherapist. She is co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology, the National Womens Health Network, and the International Committee for Women of the Wall. Dr. Chesler has lectured and organized womens rights and human rights campaigns all over the world and has also appeared on outlets such as CNN, Fox News, The OReilly Factor, The Today Show, Oprah, and multiple NPR programs, including a three year tenure as a regular contributor to NPRs At the Opera. Her writings have been featured in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of London, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Israel National News, The New York Times, Salon, The Globe and Mail, The London Guardian, and the Jewish and Israeli media. Her archives are at Duke University. She lives in New York City.
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