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Hello American Lady Creature Paperback – May 31, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A hopeful read exploring the complexities of navigating cultural and societal expectations abroad." Kirkus Reviews

"The narrative of Hello American Lady Creature is packed with plenty of loss -- an inability to have children, a crushing divorce, the state of being alone far from home -- but it ends in soaring redemption. Who doesn't love a good pulling-oneself-up-by-one's-bootstraps ride?" Bustle.com

From the Back Cover

"Saucy and funny and unflinchingly honest. A picaresque tale of a woman lost - and found -in the Persian Gulf." 
Eric Weiner, NPR correspondent and author of the best-selling The Geography of Bliss.
 
"Lisa is bold, genuine, hilarious. It's so satisfying to read a great story told by a great writer." 
Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's "Ask Me Another" and author of Screw Everyone.
 
"I loved reading this. Her takeaways are empowering for any reader!"
Jo Weldon, founder of the New York School of Burlesque and author of The Burlesque Handbook.

"Kirchner's work is unapologetic and hilarious. Her effortless writing makes the book unputdownable!" 
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, award-winning author of No Ocean Here.
 
Lisa Kirchner was 35 when she married the man of her dreams. Together they moved to Qatar for one last adventure before starting a family. But things quickly derailed. Heading up the marketing department at a university in one of the world's most patriarchal cultures brought unanticipated challenges. Then she learned she'd never have children. At least they had each other. 

'He pulled me close and said, "Baby, I didn't marry you for your ability to reproduce." I never wanted anything more than to be loved like that.'

If only the story ended there. 

With powerful and frank insight, the author describes what it was like to lose everything in a land that was utterly foreign. At the heart of this narrative is a magical place and time in history - Qatar at the turn of the 21st century - that shaped her own radical transformation. It's the author's first book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Greenpoint Press; 1st edition (May 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098869686X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988696860
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LISA KIRCHNER was once simultaneously the dating columnist for an alternative newsweekly, bridal editor for a society rag and the religion reporter for a gay and lesbian newspaper. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trish Hooper on May 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
The backdrop for this very personal story is the Qatari desert that had just recently started to reinvent itself, just as the author did as her life unfolded and changed in ways she couldn't have imagined. Lisa Kirchner writes a 340- page masterpiece of honesty, humor and grace. That she chose to reveal very personal and painful details of her marriage and very real career challenges allows the reader to get close to her and her story. Brave writing and storytelling creates a memoir that many of us can relate to as we work our way through a planned and unplanned life. It would have been easy to use cliches to describe the Middle East, a dissolving marriage and finding a path back to herself, but Lisa Kirchner didn't. She brings the reader along for every step.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By porterpnyc on May 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Lisa L. Kirchner's 'Hello American Lady Creature' is, intelligent and thought provoking. Her revealing look at a foreign culture fascinating, and her honest look at herself inspiring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Shapiro on May 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
In Lisa Kirchner's first book "Hello American Lady Creature," she shares her middle east adventure gone horribly wrong. Her voice is smart, fiercely honest, dark yet hilarious at the same time. An impressive debut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ann Votaw on June 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While my heart broke for Lisa Kirchner -- with her terrible job, the loss of her dogs, her ebbing fertility, and her divorce in a Muslim country -- I laughed while reading HELLO AMERICAN LADY CREATURE (Greenpoint Press).

A self-deprecating narrator, Kirchner lets us into her mind as she tried establishing a media presence (and talent pool) for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. She took the job to support her spouse, who wanted to be a foreign correspondent but never filed stories. When Geoff divorced her over the phone, I cried for her. What woman hasn't rearranged her life for a Geoff, only to have the whole thing blow up in her face? But Kirchner found the irony of desperately wanting breakup sex in a land where dating was illegal.

This memoir is a must-read for yoga lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone who has done the emotional work for a sweet partner who won't fight back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Austin Scott Collins on March 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
I got to hear Lisa Kirchner read from her book "Hello American Lady Creature" at a brewery in Tampa. I bought a copy, which for reasons that remain unclear she autographed to "Bruce." (Not only is my name not Bruce, as far as I know there was no one there named Bruce.) She hastily amended her inscription by including my actual name and a note explaining that I had kicked Bruce's ass.

Kirchner is a great reader. Many authors mumble monotonally when they read their own work, but Kirchner has a showman's flair and a vigorous, dynamic, entertaining delivery. She read short segments from three different parts of the book to give us a sense of its overall flavor, and I couldn't wait to get home and read it. When I did, I heard the whole thing in her voice.

The story takes place mostly in Doha, Qatar (pronounced "cutter") during the period from 2004 to 2006. Kirchner had taken a job as a marketing and communications director for a new overseas campus Carnegie Mellon University was opening there. It was to be a three-year contract, and she brought along her husband Geoff, who had been a newspaper editor in the U.S. and was flirting with vague aspirations of becoming a foreign correspondent in the Middle East. Then it all derailed.

50% divorce memoir and 50% traveler's tale, HALC succeeds in doing several things very well. First, it manages to be fun (and funny) even though the subjects of loss and lonliness are unavaoidably depressing. Second, it paints a fascinating and nuanced portrait of a strikingly different culture. Third, it reads like the best kind of blog or journal, the kind filled with meaningful and complex introspection and insight.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will transport you to Qatar in a way that you can experience it right along side the author. Lisa Kirchner has a way of infusing humor and honesty in a way that makes you look forward to what the next page/chapter/book brings. You know it is a good book when, as you are nearing the end, you start to feel like you a loosing a good friend.

The very personal thoughts and emotions of the author are bared for all to see. A contrast to the way she hid so much from her coworkers, friends, spouse as the story unfolds.

The author is able to brilliantly provide insight into and describe a country and culture foreign to so many. Her humor, a bit raunchy at times, will have you laughing out loud throughout the story, eagerly wanting more.

Looking forward to reading more from Lisa Kirchner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn R. Kail on June 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Lisa was a pioneer for women representing U.S. education in Qatar.ch A country very much in the news right now. There was no road map for Lisa -- Education City was itself an experiment in blending cultures - and this author captures the toll pioneers face with honesty and the kind of humor that so many women in any workplace can relate to. Most importantly, she made me remember all of the struggles I felt as a young woman trying to balance all of he feminist ideals I fiercely believed in with my marriage and desire to have children. And she holds nothing back...
Move over Sex in the City and Bridget Jones Diary -- Lady Creature in Qatar is great summer reading.
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