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Little Women of Baghlan: The Story of a Nursing School for Girls in Afghanistan, the Peace Corps, and Life Before the Taliban

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A forgotten diary…Afghanistan during the Cold War…and a young American volunteer. Fifty years later, Jo Carter’s diary is a window to the past, and the source material for this narrative nonfiction book.
Jo deploys to Baghlan with the Peace Corps in 1968, before the Russian invasion or the emergence of the Taliban. She lives with two co-workers in a home that is made of ado
Paperback, 360 pages
Published October 13th 2013 by Peace Corps Writers
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Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
There was so much potential in this book - it follows the experiences of a young American woman named Joanne Carter, who volunteers with the Peace Corps during the 1960s and winds up in Afghanistan. As a historical artifact, it's a gem - her detailed journals, letters to loved ones, and other mementos help the author, Susan Fox, piece together a picture of the mid-century Afghanistan that has long since disappeared under layers of war and suffering. But I couldn't help but wish that the work had ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: peace-corps
This is an absolutely fascinating insight into life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and the rise of the Taliban. Fox brilliantly retells the story of Jo, a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. By the end of the book, I felt that I personally knew the volunteers and Afghans of Baghlan. My only minor issue was that it was perhaps a bit too long, but that did not take away from the impact of the book.
Cindy Allston
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Also got to hear the author speak which really adds to everything.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was wrong. I THOUGHT this was a book about history, nursing and the Peace Corps. It turns out it was also about teaching. Now I’m a blubbering mess. Wonderful true story!
Chris Miles
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy of this book. Thank you, Susan, for this! However, I have not let this influence me in my review.

'Little Women of Baghlan' tells the story of the period of just more than two years that Susan Fox's great friend, Jo Carter, spent in the United States Peace Corps.

I found this book to be interesting, informative and very enjoyable to read. Susan makes it a point not to be too political with her detailing of Jo's story, allowing it to be more a story fr
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book and thought it had some great insights. More than just the story of one woman's experience in Afghanistan, the narrative also raised some thoughtful questions about the differences between cultures. I was excited at the prospect of an epilogue, anxious to know how the women reacclimated to Western living, but I guess that was not meant to be part of the story. As a petty point, I did notice some typos in the text, which always annoys me, and I do think the story co ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, based on a Peace Corps nurse's diary. It reads like a novel, with nicely imagined scenes and dialogue. Great way to learn the historical/political situation in Afghanistan in 1968-1970. Also learned more about Islam, and how the oppression of women does not really come from that but from laws, etc. This one I read with 2 bookmarks--one in front, chapter by chapter, and one in back, in the notes. ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it gave me an understanding of life in Afghanistan before Russia and the Taliban and the US, Australia and Allied countries got involved. I understand a lot more about the culture that is so anti female and really has always been. From a nursing perspective and as an RN I could truly relate to the professional dilemma these American women faced during their times dealing with the "health system" of this country.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was by far one of the best books I have read & throughly enjoyed! I even have tears at the ending. I never really thought about the Peace Corps and what it entailed. What amazing work they do and what hardships they struggle through. This book made me realize that I expect and demand in my daily life, just because it has always been available.

I hope I can pay more attention to what is happening around me, now!
Mar 10, 2015 marked it as to-read
Just found out I have won this book, looking forward to reading this one. Stay tuned for a review and happy reading!
Allen Patterson
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Susan Fox did an excellent job in researching and writing this very interesting true story.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Very interesting, poignant!
Carol Carlson
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting depiction of 2 years spent as a nurse educator in Baghlan. So much to learn about a culture that is different from my own.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was a fair book. Interesting to learn about Afghanistan but never really got real deep into the culture. Peace Corps aspect was good to read about. Overall, a slow book with really no excitement.
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Author Susan Fox lives along the Kankakee River in Momence, IL--a small town of 3,000, not counting the duck population.
"Little Women of Baghlan" is her first book, and was named as a finalist for Book of the Year in nonfiction by the Chicago Writers Association.
Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, a nursing degree, and a certificate

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