Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Gathering Strength by Peggy Kelsey

Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women offers remarkable, sometimes hard-hitting stories of courage and survival, and will help readers make sense of seemingly intractable social issues in a similarly intractable nation. Dynamic, candid photographs reveal the infinite variety of women who are too often portrayed as a homogenous mass. Who are some of the women you will discover in Gathering Strength? Human rights activists, educators, artists, refugees, midwives, businesswomen, athletes, a pilgrim to Mecca, parliamentarians, the elderly, students, and others such as:

Najia, a nurse during the Taliban era who later started her own business,
Hador, who set her rapist cousin on fire and went to prison,
Tajwar, a leader of the Afghan women's resistance during the Soviet occupation.

Pre-Pub Endorsements

Peggy Kelsey’s book gives voice to the struggles, sacrifices, and hopes of a remarkable cast of Afghan women. This illuminating and moving collection of interviews is a testament to the courage and resilience of women who collectively yearn to rebuild their war-torn nation and for the freedom to choose the course of their own lives.
- Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

Everything you need to know about the current situation of women in Afghanistan you will find in Peggy Kelsey’s book, through the voices of the women themselves.
This work is a first-rate lesson in the complexity of the problems Afghan women face and of their unstoppable resolve.
- Mavis Leno, Feminist Majority Foundation

This is one of the first [books] I’ve seen that lets us hear Afghan women speaking for themselves. The range and diversity of its subjects make this a comprehensive look at Afghanistan through the eyes of its women. I hope Kelsey will not be the last to walk through the door she has opened.
- Tamim Ansary, author of Games Without Rules, The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women reminds us of how valuable it is to hear fresh voices tell the story of a country ravaged by four decades of war. Peggy Kelsey’s own engaging memoir helps us see why she is so curious about Afghan women. Her determination to illustrate the stories of various women by pursuing conversations with them allows us to approach unusual and surprising settings. This is an ideal book for students and teachers who want to learn about war and peace in Afghanistan from an informed, caring and profoundly thoughtful perspective.
- Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Amazon buy link:

Peggy Kelsey is a professional photographer and founder of the Afghan Women's Project. She traveled to Afghanistan in 2003 and 2010 to photograph and interview women and bring a wider, more nuanced view of Afghan women to Western audiences. She now shares her slide presentations and photo exhibit around the world.

The book’s website is
The author's biography is at


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1 comment:

degood said...

My friend Stephanie is constantly showing me courage and a positive attitude despite going through a horrible situation.