Extended Audio Sample

Download Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil Audiobook, by Deborah Rodriguez Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,697 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Rodriguez Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187188
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Most Westerners now working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside the wall of a military compound or embassy. Deborah Rodriguez is one of the very few who lives life smack in the middle of Kabul. Now, Rodriguez tells the story of the beauty school she founded and the vibrant women who were her students there.

When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy—in the strictly patriarchal culture, the beauty school proved a small haven—but also made some of the closest friends of her life. Woven through the book are the stories of her students. There is the newlywed who must fake her own virginity, the twelve-year-old bride who has been sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, and the wife of a member of the Taliban who pursues her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. All of these women have a story to tell, and all of them bring their stories to the Kabul Beauty School, where, along with Rodriguez herself, they learn the art of perms, of friendship, and of freedom.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_002187

Quotes & Awards

  • Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author’s superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A terrific opening chapter—colorful, suspenseful, funny—ushers readers into the curious closed world of Afghan women.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Listeners are aided in their sojourn to this land by the clear and confident narration of Bernadette Dunne. Her delivery will make listeners will feel it’s the author herself telling them about her students, love life, and political problems. Rodriguez’s experiences are fascinating, and Dunne makes them more so.”

    AudioFile

  • “Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan to transform her own life and ended up revolutionizing the lives of many of her Afghan sisters. This book made me feel like I was right there in the beauty salon, sharing in the tears and laughter as, outside my door, an entire country changed. Kabul Beauty School is inspiring, exciting, and not to be missed.”

    Masha Hamilton, author of The Distance between Us

  • “An enthralling story from the opening page. Rodriugez’s memoir captivated me with its humor and feminine power. A more apt name for a salon could not be found: that small building, where the practice of beauty is both an act of defiance and tradition, is indeed an oasis. A place I was very happy to linger in.”

    Marsha Mehran, author of Pomegranate Soup

  • “Rodriguez writes an eye-opening and heart-rending story of tenacity and courage as she empowers, employs, and enriches the women of Kabul to run their own beauty parlor businesses. In her writing she gives a new voice to the people of Afghanistan. You will finish it and want to meet her!”

    Carol Fitzgerald, founder and president of Bookreporter.com

  • “Riveting from the start…Refreshingly charismatic and gossipy, Rodriguez’s voice is endearingly unguarded, just like that of a chatty hairdresser. The women she meets are described in loving detail…Rodriguez’s are Western eyes, and it is easy to imagine an Afghan woman being offended by some details she divulges, but underneath the culture clash is genuine care, respect, and juicy storytelling.”

    Booklist

  • “Terrifically readable and rich in personal stories.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 2/19/2014

    " Of all of the books I have read about Afghanistan, this one is the best. This book is the true story of a woman who goes to Afghanistan to do service work and sets up a beauty school for Afghan women. I can't help but wonder how this book has affected these women and if there has been any repercussions for them. I highly recommend reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 2/14/2014

    " I thought it was a good story. Hard to believe that all of these things happened. Guess I'm a sceptic. From Debbie's description of the men that she had contact with in Afghanistan, they seem to be double-minded. Dealing drugs, drunkenness, sexual harrassing other women not to mention how they treated their wives! I remember when there was news about helping women in Afghanistan. I support that but it saddened me to read how some of these women treated each other. They abuse each other too! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Milford | 2/13/2014

    " Extremely brave beautician travels with beauty supplies to Afghanistan to teach the women there how to run salons. In that culture, the beauty salon is one place where the women can have privacy and be themselvse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 2/3/2014

    " I liked this book in that it gave an interesting perspective on life in Afghanistan and the way women view beauty there, in spite of the oppression they endure. It is always interesting to me to see how each culture has different standards of modesty and propriety. While one culture may be seen as very conservative and straight-laced, they may still do things that make people from other cultures blush and vice versa. This book brought so of that out. On the other hand though, I felt like the view of Afghanistan presenting in this book was very much naive and almost as if through rose colored glasses. The author took lots of risks and made it seem as though what she was doing was safe and ok. However, looking at the media today will help anyone see a different perspective on life in Kabul. Now I'm not saying that the media is 100% accurate in their portrayal, but at the same time, I think the author presents the other extreme and it is important for the reader to reconcile the two and reach a happy medium. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pbwritr | 1/29/2014

    " A really great nonfiction book based on the story of an American who went to Afghanistan to help out. She found out her beautician skills were in high demand, then started a beauty school to train Afgahn beauticians to Western ways, finding that she was really making a difference in women's lives. Eventually, she married an Afghan and stayed there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Alderman | 1/28/2014

    " Although I like the story, I didn't like the author or her thoughts on Afghan women and families. Let's be real, a beauty school will not save these women. I would have liked to hear more about the culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbottfamily | 1/20/2014

    " Wow, what an eye opener. The sacrifices made in this book are amazing. I guess I like books about strong pioneering women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa Y. | 1/17/2014

    " Deborah Rodriguez is crazy, snd there has been some criticism of her and the book. But I found it fascinating to learn about the lives of the Afghan women who came to the salon. They are the stars of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaddi | 1/4/2014

    " I listened to this book on Audible.com. I didn't expect to like it but it was quite good. It introduces the reader to yet another aspect of the Afghan Culture from an American Hairdresser's perspective. Interestingly enough, it was not depressing. It was authentic and real. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kacey | 11/30/2013

    " This was along the lines of Three Cups of Tea only this time, the American is headed to Afghanistan to open a beauty school to give women the tools and opportunity for a better life. I like it better than Three Cups of Tea and it gave me a new insight to the women there and their experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hpreeder | 11/19/2013

    " I think I was expecting more-- less about how she felt about the experience and more about the life of someone from that area-- Which one would get from the title, it's about the american woman, not about the women behind the veil... Shoulda known better.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Hale | 11/11/2013

    " This book was a great insight into the Afghani culture. I enjoyed the personal relationships the author had with the people with whom she came in touch. I have some reservations in regards to some of the discussions of sex in the book, and occasional language, but other than that the book was great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dixiane Hallaj | 9/27/2013

    " I really enjoyed this. I understand some of the difficulties with cross cultural marriages. I've had one for 48 years. This is one amazing woman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Abdo | 5/28/2013

    " I learned a lot about Afghanistan- the place and culture. I love reading about people who dare to challenge stereotypes- theirs or others'. I'm still a little unsure how I feel about her marriage- it was kind of an odd thing from start to finish. Great, book, though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susieville | 1/15/2013

    " Very interesting and true book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 12/15/2012

    " This is a real eye-opener about the reality of the plight of women in Afghanistan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mckinley | 12/14/2012

    " Like many memoirs these days there is controversy surrounding this book. A memoir billed as true should be so, but memories are slippery things. Regardless, I enjoyed reading it; I tend not to believe everything I read... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 5/7/2012

    " This book really makes me feel grateful to be a woman in the United States with all our rights. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leena | 3/29/2012

    " A fascinating look into a very different world. My own question mark whether the existence of this book caused difficulties for women it described. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Idgy | 2/25/2012

    " A compelling story, told in a very accessible way. Many courageous women who overcome unbelievable hardships. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ab | 12/3/2011

    " I really didn't like this book. I found the author irresponsible and self-indulgent. NPR reported that some of the subjects in the book were put in danger because of events the author related. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katy | 6/29/2011

    " Hard to believe this is a true story...very interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mbbnda | 6/25/2011

    " Another story of women living in Kabul under Taliban rule. A volunteer beautician opens a school to train Afghanistan beauticians to be able to grow their businesses to support their families working from their homes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terrlyn | 6/21/2011

    " An interesting and informative book. Easy to read and really a compilation of incidents that happened to here during her work in Afghanistan. Particularly interesting considering the recent demise of Osama Bin Laden. Wishing there was more and an update on everyone in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 5/25/2011

    " This book is not as informational as A Thousand Splendid Suns, but it is a more happy story. It is so sad how Afghanistan allows women to be treated. I am grateful to be born in the United States of America! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 5/24/2011

    " Not particularly well written and story not as compelling as should/could have been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 5/23/2011

    " Very good book into the world of Muslim woman. I really liked the girls spunk. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Deborah RodriguezDeborah Rodriguez is a hairdresser, a motivational speaker, and the author of the bestselling memoir Kabul Beauty School. She spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House. She currently lives in Mexico.
About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.