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Drinking from the Saucer: A Memoir Paperback – April 25, 2008

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About the Author

Charlene C. Duline lives in Indianapolis. She is a graduate of Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. As a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Information Agency, she wrote press releases, speeches and toasts for ambassadors and visiting congressional delegations; met heads of state, hosted dignitaries and won friends and influenced people to accept U.S. foreign policies, unpalatable though some of those policies were to her personally. Her memoir takes the reader on what is often a wild ride from country to country and from adventure to adventure. She is an avid animal lover and is a volunteer at the Indianapolis Zoo. Before joining the U.S. Foreign Service, she was a Peace Corps volunteer, and a United Nations International Secretary. Since retiring she has volunteered at the Indiana Women's Prison, and was a tour guide at Crown Hill Cemetery. She is currently working on another book, "Warrior Princess," written in the voice of her miniature poodle daughter, Ebony, who crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago leaving a deep hole in her mommy's heart.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (April 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434381048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434381040
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,896,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beryl S. Bissell on September 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
A fascinating memoir of a strong-headed, devout, and idealistic young African-American woman who was among the first volunteers to join the Peace Corps in response to President Kennedy's famous challenge to America in 1960.

"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

Duline grew up lonely and isolated in an urban Indianapolis neighborhood where her step-father raped and abused and her mother appeared either unwilling or unable to protect her daughter. While still in high school, she left home to live with an aunt in New York - a situation that was different but not much better than the one she left behind because her aunt was an alcoholic.

Wanting to make something better of her life and to serve humanity and her country, she enters the Peace Corps where her first assignment is to Peru. The narration of her experiences in the small towns and villages is a delight. In one instance she was so paralyzed with fright when confronted with a swinging bridge over which she had to pass daily in order to get the mail that a fellow volunteer offered to do it for her. Duline refused and showing the strength of will that shines ever more clearly as the story progresses, Duline steels herself and eventually learns to cross with ease. This strength serves her well as she moves on from the Peace Corp to work in the United Nations and from there joins the United States Information Services (USIS).

During her 25 years with US Information and Foreign Services, Duline is assigned to some of the most troubled places in the world -- first to Haiti, then in Tanzania. She was asked to take over the USIS in Swaziland from where the story moves to Liberia, South Africa, and back again to Swaziland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
DRINKING FROM THE SAUCER: A MEMOIR shares how one woman conquers insurmountable odds; life for Charlene C. Duline was not to be stifled. Her first true happiness was growing up in one room with her maternal grandmother. But, her grandmother's death ended that happiness, and her bliss turned into a nightmare that lasted nine years. Charlene possessed relentless fortitude as she wrestled her destiny from a vicious assault to individual success, from ground roots to grand diplomacy. She shares her experiences and brutal lessons, without bitterness, and in amazing detail.

Spurred by the Peace Corp, her memoir travels a fascinating journey from Indiana to far reaching countries: the Peruvian Andes, East Pakistan, and France. Her journey of grand diplomacy took her to Haiti, Tanzania, Liberia, Swaziland, and Panama, where she performed as a U.S. Foreign Service officer; and finally to Washington, DC. Growing up black in America and trying to advance and achieve produced difficult challenges, but she conquered each one.

Charlene's commentary is colorful and shrewd, as she illuminates the rich cultural diversities and tensions between her life in America and her life abroad. She gives special attention to countries populated by people of color, whose culture is profoundly different from our own. She writes a strong stirring memoir with warmth and unveiled sincerity. Charlene never could have imagined her life would be so bountiful it would actually spill over. Yet, she's drinking from the saucer because her cup has truly overflowed.

DRINKING FROM THE SAUCER captures readers with a suspense that keeps them reading just because they're fascinated by where her life has taken her.
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By Ceil on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Drinking From the Saucer is the memoir of an African-American woman who grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her memoirs take you from the happiness she knew growing up in a cozy one room with her grandmother to the nightmare she encountered after her grandmother's death living with her mother and stepfather. Many would not have been able to endure the trauma of a childhood such as Charlene's but her life took a remarkable turn and this book gives you details of the wonderful journey she made.

After leaving Indiana Charlene was one of the first to be accepted into the Peace Corps in 1962 and was the first African-American woman to serve in Cucco, Peru. Even though some of the natives of Cucco were about the same color as Charlene, they would look at her, point and burst into laughter. This mockery caused great hurt to a person who was there to distribute food to the poor children. After the Peace Corps she joined the United Nations as an International Secretary and served in New York and Dacca, East Pakistan. With the background she had from serving in the Peace Corps and the United Nations she became a Foreigh Service Officer usually working in remote countries. She has met heads of state, hosted dignitaries, and written press releases, speeches and more for ambassadors and visiting congressional delegations. Charlene has indeen had experiences many could never imagine.

Her memoir takes you on a fascinating journey from Indiana to the Peruvian Andes, to Dacca, Paris, Haiti, Tanzania, Liberia, Panama and Washington, D.C. She is drinking from the saucer because her cup has truly overflowed.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a beautiful story with great adventure and suspense. It captivates you to the point you do not want to put it down. I am eagerly awaiting her new book "Warrior Princess" written in the voice of her beloved minature poodle daughter, Ebony who crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago.
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