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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
Susan Fox, author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

A forgotten diary comes alive in this true account of an ordinary young woman who answers the call to service and adventure during an extraordinary time in world history. Peace Corps Volunteer Jo Carter is deployed to Afghanistan on March 21, 1968, with instructions to start a nursing school for Afghan girls. She keeps a daily journal, never dreaming her tiny handwriting will become a significant historical account. A half century later, her words are a window to the past—reminders that at one time Afghanistan was on the cusp of becoming a modern nation. That country has disappeared, buried under layers of recent events, and there is little evidence to indicate such a time or place ever existed. Little Women of Baghlan rivals the excitement, intrigue, and suspense of any novel, unfolding against the backdrop of changing social mores, the Cold War, the Peace Corps, and a country at the crossroads of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran.
Kirkus et al

“The clear but sophisticated prose creates a rich setting . . . . Fox presents an intriguing depiction of Baghlan as she explores Jo’s multifaceted experiences. . . . A warm, surprisingly lighthearted story that finds hope in human relationships during a particularly turbulent time in history.”

Kirkus Review


“A love affair on a number of levels, certainly not least, a love affair with Afghanistan itself. “Yet Little Women of Baghlan is not written with any particular agenda, geopolitical or religious; it is rather, simply, the story of how a group of ordinary Americans interacted with the citizens in a village called Baghlan. Fox accomplishes this with attention to detail, sensitivity, and with extraordinary grace.”

Dr. Michael Spath, Professor Middle East Studies, Indiana University-Purdue University


“I think it’s important that the word about what Peace Corps Volunteers accomplished in Afghanistan gets the widest possible circulation; it stands in contrast to some of our country’s later activities.”

Dr. John Bing, Chairman of the Board, ITAP International


“A colorful and comprehensive account. From dysentery to riding a camel to shopping in the bazaar, Fox gives a good account of a distant land.

Phil Angelo, Editor, Daily Journal, Kankakee IL



Much of what this book reveals about the health, customs, isolation, ignorance, dignity, and illiteracy of the country apply today as it did then. Little Women of Baghlan is a great read! I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about Afghanistan.

Walter P. Blass, Country Director of the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, 1966-68