Monday, October 27, 2008

Giveaway: In the Land of Invisible Women

Summary: More than ever, we live in a time of great change around the world. And as history unfolds, the cultures of the West and the Middle East have—and will continue—to collide until understanding or critical mass is reached. Sourcebooks, Inc. is proud to present a microcosm of this struggle, with a valuable new perspective, contained within the journey of Dr. Qanta Ahmed.

IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN is the story of a western-trained Muslim female doctor (Ahmed) who spent two years working in the top hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. What began as a job initiated by a visa problem, quickly became a struggle and search for self empowerment, freedom and the right to follow her own truth.

Dr. Ahmed’s memoir is a fascinating and revelatory window into an enigmatic world. Like Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dr. Ahmed provides a telling picture of what daily life is truly like in the Saudi Kingdom. She describes:

- How physicians trained by Jewish doctors in the United States applauded and cheered when hijacked planes destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11
- How men and women find marriage partners in a society that allows no dating and physical contact, and where they flee to have affairs
- How Saudi women who are supported by advanced thinking parents and who must wear abbayas with their bodies fully encased are able to defy the Saudi's oppressive rules and mores to become physicians
- How she worked side-by-side with Wahabi scholars and physicians who seemed to shun her even in clinical contact
- Why the religious police are so threatening and dangerous
- How a father grieves
- Her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy

Dr. Ahmed also evokes moments where she finds tenderness and true beauty in areas where she least expects it; at the tattered, curled edges of extremism. The last leg of her journey takes readers inside the Hajj, as she journeys to Mecca with 2.5 million other Muslims to perform the sacred duty incumbent upon every able-bodied Muslim in his or her lifetime.

In the Land of Invisible Women is a fascinating look inside a culture that has become so relevant to our own. -- Sourcebooks

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, author of IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN and nationally respected physician, is quickly approaching bestseller status and, to keep the ball rolling, Sourcebooks has partnered with to put together an electronic giveaway of 2,500 ebook downloads of her memoir about being a female physician in the Saudi Kingdom. Hers is a fantastic story (currently outselling both INFIDEL and READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN.)

From October 27th – 31st, her book will be available for download to any LibraryThing member (membership is free) and it will be followed up a week later (Nov. 10th) with two weeks of author chat—meaning that every week-night for two weeks, readers can post questions for Dr. Ahmed on the LibraryThing website which she will then attempt to answer.

I haven't had the opportunity to read IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN yet, but the buzz surrounding this book is that it is very good. BookList, ForeWord and Publishers Weekly have all given this book great advanced reviews; and Kirkus gave it a starred review. I strongly recommend trying to download the e-book and participating in the author chat. It sounds like the book and the discussion with the author are going to be fascinating.

I just happen to have two copies (the actual book, not an e-book) of IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN available to giveaway! If you are interested, please leave a comment (with your e-mail address) telling me what's your favorite memoir. If you'd like to double your chances, blog about this contest with a link back to this post. The contest will be open until Friday, November 7th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winners on the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only! Good Luck!


bermudaonion said...

My favorite memoir is one I just read - The Longest Trip Home. Please enter me. milou2ster(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks

Ti said...

My favorite memoir, well it is mostly a memoir, is The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. It was a short book but incredibly inspiring.

Please enter me in this one! The eBook giveaway sounds interesting but I much prefer the actual book.

thereedfamily at sbcglobal dot net

Elizabeth said...

Memoir of a Geisha...

I'm kidding, I'm KIDDING!! :P

I loved Undiscovered by Debra Winger. Her thoughts on motherhood are very profound. Just finished it!

justme said...

i love these type of books, my favorite memoir of all time is First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung. Riveting


Anonymous said...

*The Road to Coorain* by Jill Ker Conway. Also *Infidel* by Ayan Ali Hirsi.

I'd love a chance to win this book (I don't "do" e-books) :)

Bridget said...

I've posted at Win A Book. No need to enter the contest.

darbyscloset said...

The latest memoir I have read is "Beautiful Boy". I cannot say it was my favorite, just my latest.
My favorite is the story of a German boy being taught to read by an older German woman, yet the name escapes me.
E-books are hard for me to read, I'd like to be entered to win a copy.
Thank you
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Kathleen said...

I really want to win this book! Please enter me. I don't know if I can pick a favourite but one of my favs is Have You Found Her by Janice Erlbaum.
callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

Stacie said...

I loved "The Last Lecture", but not sure if that was considered a memoir or not. Also "The Glass Castle" and "Change Me Into Zeus' Daughter" were some recent memoir favorites.

Amber said...

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is my favorite memoir. Horrifying and eye opening at the same time. I could not put it down.

Please enter me :) Thank you for the giveaway!

Gwendolyn B. said...

Please enter me, and thanks for the chance!
I absolutely loved "A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman" by Rosemary Mahoney. What an experience for a budding author!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Sara said...

My favorite memoir was Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks.

Please enter me, thanks!

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I don't have a favorite memoir, but I loved Zippy (Haven Kimmel) and Glass Castle. I also loved Reading Lolita in Tehran, and if The Last Lecture counts, that's another one that I love. I would love to read this one--it sounds fascinating.

windycindy said...

I enjoy reading memoirs and this one sounds like quite a learning experience! Please enter me in your always fun book giveaway drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi

windycindy said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention my favorite memoir. It is "A Long Stone's Throw" by Alphie McCourt.
Thanks, Cindi

shelburns said...

I don't usually read memoirs, so I don't have a favorite...guess I need to read some; add that to the TBR list. Anyway, I did post about this on my blog.

shelcows at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite memoir was independently produced and now noone seems to know about it: it was about a woman from New Zealand who lived among the Bedouin in Petra.

thursdayb at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite memoir is The Septembers of Shiraz although I did think that The Glass Castle was memorable.

Renee said...

A recent read was Same Kind of Different as Me.....
would love to win In the Land of the Invisible Women

Tammy said...

One of my favorites is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. He's hysterical!

Please enter me. I've also blogged about it here.

Bebe said...

Hi Julie,
This looks like an interesting read ~ please enter me into your contest. Thanks!
Smiles, Bebe :)

P.S. One of my favorite memoirs is Leap Of Faith by Queen Noor.

Anonymous said...

My favorite memoir has to be Infidel. The experiences of being a Muslim in a African country. And then flees as soon as she is to be married, and living in a free society. It was a good read.

Beawhiz said...

My favorite memoir is A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle.

Thanks for the giveaway!


Melanie said...

I just finished a great memior. The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein. There's a sequel that I'm looking forward to reading to. My quick review is here:

annie said...

My favorite memoir is Amarcord, by Carmella Hazan. Lovely and fascinating book.

RAnn said...

I enjoyed Same Kind of Different as Me. I also did the post about this

Anonymous said...

My favorite memoir is Story of a Soul.

I think this sounds fascinating and would love to read it.


susan_geiger at eku dot edu

Anonymous said...

whoops, my bad, wronge email. it's actually:

susan_geiger2 at eku dot edu


Jennifer said...

Awesome giveaway. I really want to read this book.

Favourite memoir: Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir or Three Cups of Tea.

knittingmomof3 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

My favorite memoir (and incidentally, my all-time favorite book) is "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. It's about her life in Holland during WWII and how they "hid" Jews in a secret wall of their home. It's a riveting story and a tear-jerker. It's a book I could read over and over again. Memoirs always interest me because I love real life so much. Please enter me in this contest. If I should be the winner may can contact me at:

Laura said...

I just finished Leap Of Faith by Queen Noor. It was interesting but a little too politically detailed for me.

My email address is

I blogged about this contest at

Marissa said...

My favorite memoir is also an ethnography: Guests of the Sheik, by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. It's a really great account of the author's life for two years in an Iraqi village in the 1950s.

Please enter me in the giveaway!
marissa dot marro at gmail dot com