Most of the books I recommend on Write Thinking are written from a Christian worldview and usually published by a CBA publishing house. But today I'm going to feature a very different kind of book: In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD. Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about the book:
This memoir is a journey into a complex world readers will find fascinating and at times repugnant. After being denied a visa to remain in the U.S., British-born Ahmed, a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin, takes advantage of an opportunity, before 9/11, to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia. She discovers her new environment is defined by schizophrenic contrasts that create an absurd clamorous clash of modern and medieval…. It never became less arresting to behold. Ahmed's introduction to her new environment is shocking. Her first patient is an elderly Bedouin woman. Though naked on the operating table, she still is required by custom to have her face concealed with a veil under which numerous hoses snake their way to hissing machines. Everyday life is laced with bizarre situations created by the rabid puritanical orthodoxy that among other requirements forbids women to wear seat belts because it results in their breasts being more defined, and oppresses Saudi men as much as women by its archaic rules. At times the narrative is burdened with Ahmed's descriptions of the physical characteristics of individuals and the luxurious adornments of their homes but this minor flaw is easily overlooked in exchange for the intimate introduction to a world most readers will never know.
I am looking forward to reading the book myself, and if you think you'd be interested, I have a copy to give away as well. To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment. I'll hold the drawing on Monday, November 3, so you have through Sunday to leave a comment. (Sorry, North American readers only.)
The publisher of this book has partnered with Librarything.com to give away 2500 eBooks this week. Hurry over there to see if you might be one of the lucky ones. In addition, the author will be hosted on LibraryThing for an author chat from November 10 thru 21. Readers can log in and interact with the author by posting questions or comments to the group.