Category Archive: Blog

2015
01/08

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Blog

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THE YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s hard to believe that Little Women of Baghlan has been in publication for over a year. And what a year 2014 has been! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all over Illinois, and a few in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I’ve been to Rotary Clubs, Libraries, Women’s Clubs, Book Clubs, Community Colleges, Universities, and hospitals.  I have spoken to groups of barely a dozen people, and groups of over one hundred. I have attended lunches, eaten cookies, and signed books. I have spoken with microphones and state of the art audio/visual systems, and spoken with nothing but my notes.

But what I remember most are the people—the gracious hosts, the librarians, the committee chairs—all those who made me feel so welcome. And of course I remember my husband Ken, who has heard it all before, sitting in the back, ready to help carry books and keep track of the transactions. Thank you Ken!

 

2014
11/01

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Blog
News/Events

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NURSE.COM

Just finished a phone interview with Brendan Dabowski, freelance journalist. Watch the online magazine Nurse.com for a short article about “Little Women of Baghlan.” Thanks Brendan!

 

2014
10/14

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Blog
News/Events

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GOODREADS REVIEW

Good Things happen when you least expect it. I opened my email this morning to find my first Goodreads review!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1079684769

Little Women of Baghlan: The Story of a Nursing School for Girls in Afghanistan, the Peace Corps, and Life Before the Taliban

by Susan Fox (Goodreads Author)

Oct 13, 14

bookshelves: peace-corps

This is an absolutely fascinating insight into life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and the rise of the Taliban. Fox brilliantly retells the story of Jo, a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. By the end of the book, I felt that I personally knew the volunteers and Afghans of Baghlan. My only minor issue was that it was perhaps a bit too long, but that did not take away from the impact of the book.

 

2014
08/11

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Blog
News/Events

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PEACE CORPS ANNOUNCES HISTORIC CHANGNES TO APPLICATION PROCESS

PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER JO CARTER WITH NURSING STUDENT SEDIKA,  CIRCA 1968. READ JO’S STORY IN “LITTLE WOMEN OF BAGHLAN: THE STORY OF A NURSING SCHOOL FOR GIRLS IN AFGHANISTAN, THE PEACE CORPS, AND LIFE BEFORE THE TALIBAN.”

Jo and Sed

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2014 – Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet today announced sweeping changes to the agency’s application process that will make applying to the Peace Corps simpler, faster and more personalized than ever before. Under this new recruitment initiative, applicants will now be able to choose their country of service and apply to specific programs, and do so through a new, shorter application. As part of today’s announcement, Peace Corps also released a new video from President Obama calling on Americans to serve. It can be viewed here.

“More than 50 years after its founding, the Peace Corps is revitalizing its recruitment and outreach to field a volunteer force that represents the best and brightest the country has to offer,” Director Hessler-Radelet (RPCV Western Samoa 1981-83) said. “A modernized, flexible application and placement system will help Peace Corps recruit Americans who are not just interested in imagining a better world, but rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it.”

 

2014
06/26

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Blog
News/Events

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BOOK CLUB IN EXOTIC HOOPESTON ILLINOIS! JULY 14

Hoopeston_Illinois_farmer_tribute

 Who says you can’t travel to exotic places on a book tour? I am happy to accept an invitation from my good friend Susan Anvick, and meet her book club members at her home in Hoopeston, IL on July 14. I look forward to a great evening! What could be any better than good friends, a glass of wine, and book discussions? Thank you Susan!

 

 

2014
06/26

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Blog

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NURSING EXCELLENCE

I have been privileged to care for at hundreds, if not thousands, of patients throughout my nursing career–a career that has spanned 40 years. It is a profession I am proud to identify with, and so, when I was asked to speak at Riverside’s Magnet Recognition Program Brunch this coming July 15, I was not only surprised, but gratified as well.

The Magnet Recognition Program is one of the highest honors a hospital can earn with regard to nursing excellence.

Nursing excellence has a long and rich history, including the part that Peace Corps Volunteer Jo Carter Bowling played during her stint in Afghanistan from 1968-70. Jo was instrumental in starting a school of nursing for Afghan girls.

My challenge will be to review my remarks and underscore the commitment to education and excellent care that nurses have demonstrated throughout the years, from an adobe classroom in the heat and dust of Afghanistan to the present day, modern hospitals.

 

2014
04/30

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Blog

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I recently received an email via the website asking for book discussion questions for “Little Women of Baghlan” It is gratifying to know the book has been chosen for at least one book club! So in response, here are a few beginning discussion points. If you have something you would like to add to the conversation, you can contact Susan Fox via the website, or post in the comments.

BOOK CLUB

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

LITTLE WOMEN OF BAGHLAN

 

1.  The American Volunteers did not have cell phones or access to the internet. Do you think this fact shaped their experiences? How would it have been different if they had email and cell phone contact?

2.  How do you think you would have handled training, especially Farsi immersion? Are you an auditory or visual learner?

3.  Afghanistan is considered to be a communal society, where families live together, and do things cooperatively—as a community. Society in the United States, on the other hand, values ”rugged individualism,” or “going it alone,” to achieve success. How do you identify with each of these cultures? How do you reconcile the rights of the individual with the common good of any community?

4.  When Jo is on the bus to Herat, the driver stops at a tea house. The women wait in a hot, stifling bus while the men have their tea and food. The female Volunteers eventually join the men. What would you have done in Jo’s place?

5. What is the significance of Mr. Hyatullah bringing the women a Christmas tree?

6. Has your impression of the Afghan people changed after reading “Little Women of Baghlan?” In what way?

7. What was your reaction to the parties the Volunteers attended? Do you approve or disapprove of them?

8. Mr. Arsala, the landlord, was helpful to the Volunteers, and at the same time, he was blatantly domineering in regard to his wives.  How would you sum up his character?

9. Was there anything about Islam that surprised you?

10. Jo, Nan, and Mary had three distinctly different personalities. Do you think their temperaments complimented each other? How do you think this helped them cope with the hardships of their assignment? Which of the three women reminds you most of yourself?

11. Who do you think learned the most—the Afghan students or the American Volunteers?

12. Who do you think learned the most—the Afghan students or the American Volunteers?

13. Mary reveals a bit of her personality when the Volunteers go for a camel ride, and the camel owner tries to charge them for six camels. What did you think when she handed over a wad of Afs and ran to the taxi with the younger Volunteers?

14. Do you think the Peace Corps is relevant today? How has it changed?

15. When working in foreign countries, how important is it to speak the language? Americans often expect “instant results.” Does this help or hinder workers in foreign countries?

16. What was your reaction to Jo’s relationship with the airman from Peshawar?

17. When the Taliban took over in 2001, the issue of women’s rights went from bad to worse. It is now 2014. If the Taliban attempt to regain power, do you think the women will react differently, especially with access to the internet, cell phone use, and the organization of Afghan women’s groups, such as “Women for Afghan Women.” (www.womenforafghanwomen.org)

18. Jo is independent, headstrong, and sometimes just plain “stubborn.” How does she come to accept help from her friends?

19. Young Afghan girls are frequently depicted as yearning for an education, and serious about their studies. Although this is often true, Jo’s girls were ambivalent about spending their days in a classroom. Why do you think they had this attitude?

20. At the 2014 NATO Shadow Summit in Chicago, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that “Women’s rights and women being on various groups is the best way to ensure a better life for everybody, not just for women, but for everybody.” What do you think she meant by this statement?

21. Jo often put news events from VOA and the United States among her diary entries. Did you like to hear about them? Why or why not?

 

2014
04/16

Category:
Blog

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WGN INTERVIEW

WGNBill Moller was a gracious host!

That being said, it was scary, thrilling, and fun, all at the same time. Just to be in the WGN studio, talking through our head-sets, with the view of Michigan Avenue in Chicago in the background  was a surreal experience.

Thank you Bill Moller and WGN!

LINK TO THE PODCAST

http://wgnradio.com/2014/03/16/life-before-the-taliban/

 

2014
02/16

Category:
Blog
News/Events

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AUTHOR SUSAN FOX ON WGN–CHICAGO’S VERY OWN NEWS AND TALK RADIO

Award winning radio journalist Bill Moller will have author Susan Fox as his guest on Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 pm to discuss her new book, “Little Women of Baghlan: The Story of a Nursing School in Afghanistan, the Peace Corps, and Life Before the Taliban.”

Bill is on WGN radio every Saturday from 12-3 and Sundays 1-3.For more information, visit http://wgnradio.com/bill-moller/

Moller has won two ASSOCIATED PRESS First Place Awards – Best Feature and Best News Writing • Three REGIONAL EMMY AWARDS – Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence on Camera, Outstanding Soft News Feature and Outstanding Feature • Two PETER LISAGOR AWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY JOURNALISM – Business Reporting and Arts Criticism • UNITY AWARD IN MEDIA for interviews on education • INTERNATIONAL FILM AND TV FESTIVAL Finalist Award for Anchoring • INTERNATIONAL RADIO FESTIVAL OF NEW YORK, Silver Medalist for Environmental Reporting

When he’s not talking with you on WGN, Billis working as President of Bill Moller Communications, LLC.

 

2014
02/14

Category:
Blog

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NEW RESPECT FOR BLOGGERS

Marketing a book is not easy, I am finding out.  Oh sure, the speaking gigs are fun, but the background work eats away at the time with a voracious appetite.

It’s scary.

So today I decided to respond to a local university regarding a book signing on campus. Oops, I don’t have a letterhead.  How difficult can it be to create one? Let’s see. Logo–use the web banner? No, the image is too busy.  And the watermark thing–it doesn’t work at all. The cover image? Too boring.  But maybe I can jazz it up a bit in Picassa.

cover for website

Not bad. But on second thought, maybe the original is better after all. Now, let’s see…name, subtitle, contact information, oh–and an author image somewhere. In the header? Doesn’t fit very well. A horizontal line to set off the heading?

Two hours later, I have my letterhead!!!

 

Now, what was I doing? Oh yeah. Composing a letter to the local university.

Every author’s blog that I read, every website that I look at, every conference I attend, all repeat the same mantra. BlogBlogBlogBlogBlog.

Blog on a regular basis if you want your book to be noticed by readers.

Really? Blog? Who has time!??