Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil

By Deborah Rodriguez , with Kristin Ohlson
Read by Bernadette Dunne

8.98 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Most Westerners now working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside the wall of a military compound or embassy. Deborah Rodriguez is one of the very few who lives life smack in the middle of Kabul. Now, Rodriguez tells the story of the beauty school she founded and the vibrant women who were her students there. When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy—in the strictly patriarchal culture, the beauty school proved a small haven—but also made some of the closest friends of her life. Woven through the book are the stories of her students. There is the newlywed who must fake her own virginity, the twelve-year-old bride who has been sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, and the wife of a member of the Taliban who pursues her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. All of these women have a story to tell, and all of them bring their stories to the Kabul Beauty School, where, along with Rodriguez herself, they learn the art of perms, of friendship, and of freedom.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

Most Westerners now working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside the wall of a military compound or embassy. Deborah Rodriguez is one of the very few who lives life smack in the middle of Kabul. Now, Rodriguez tells the story of the beauty school she founded and the vibrant women who were her students there.

When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy—in the strictly patriarchal culture, the beauty school proved a small haven—but also made some of the closest friends of her life. Woven through the book are the stories of her students. There is the newlywed who must fake her own virginity, the twelve-year-old bride who has been sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, and the wife of a member of the Taliban who pursues her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. All of these women have a story to tell, and all of them bring their stories to the Kabul Beauty School, where, along with Rodriguez herself, they learn the art of perms, of friendship, and of freedom.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author’s superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor.” New York Times Book Review
“A terrific opening chapter—colorful, suspenseful, funny—ushers readers into the curious closed world of Afghan women.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Listeners are aided in their sojourn to this land by the clear and confident narration of Bernadette Dunne. Her delivery will make listeners will feel it’s the author herself telling them about her students, love life, and political problems. Rodriguez’s experiences are fascinating, and Dunne makes them more so.” AudioFile
“Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan to transform her own life and ended up revolutionizing the lives of many of her Afghan sisters. This book made me feel like I was right there in the beauty salon, sharing in the tears and laughter as, outside my door, an entire country changed. Kabul Beauty School is inspiring, exciting, and not to be missed.” Masha Hamilton, author of The Distance between Us
“An enthralling story from the opening page. Rodriugez’s memoir captivated me with its humor and feminine power. A more apt name for a salon could not be found: that small building, where the practice of beauty is both an act of defiance and tradition, is indeed an oasis. A place I was very happy to linger in.” Marsha Mehran, author of Pomegranate Soup
“Rodriguez writes an eye-opening and heart-rending story of tenacity and courage as she empowers, employs, and enriches the women of Kabul to run their own beauty parlor businesses. In her writing she gives a new voice to the people of Afghanistan. You will finish it and want to meet her!” Carol Fitzgerald, founder and president of Bookreporter.com
“Riveting from the start…Refreshingly charismatic and gossipy, Rodriguez’s voice is endearingly unguarded, just like that of a chatty hairdresser. The women she meets are described in loving detail…Rodriguez’s are Western eyes, and it is easy to imagine an Afghan woman being offended by some details she divulges, but underneath the culture clash is genuine care, respect, and juicy storytelling.” Booklist
“Terrifically readable and rich in personal stories.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez is a hairdresser, a motivational speaker, and the author of the bestselling memoir Kabul Beauty School. She spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House. She currently lives in Mazatlán, Mexico.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 8.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English