The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Harper, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-173237-9
In 2005, Lemmon went to Afghanistan on assignment for the Financial Times to write about women entrepreneurs. When she met a dressmaker named Kamila Sediqi, Lemmon (once a producer for This Week with George Stephanopolos) knew she had her story. It's an exciting, engrossing one that reads like a novel, complete with moments of tension and triumph, plus well-researched detail on daily life in Kabul under Taliban rule. When that regime descended in 1996, it brought fear, violence, and restrictions: women must stay home, may not work, and must wear the chadri—a cloak, also known as a burqa, that covers the face and body—in public. After Sediqi's parents left the city to avoid being pressed into service, or worse, by the Taliban, it fell to her to support the family. Her story is at once familiar (she came up with an idea, procured clients, hired student workers, and learned as she went) and wholly different (she couldn't go anywhere without a male escort, had to use an assumed name with customers due to the threat of being found out and punished, and could fit in work on the sewing machine only when there was electricity). It's a fascinating story that touches on family, gender, business, and politics and offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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FORMATS
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-06-173247-8
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-207495-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-202745-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-208385-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61120-246-5
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-1-59413-575-0
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