Author T. L. McCown will talk about and sign copies of her new book, "Creating Shamsiyah: Empowering the Saudi Feminist Movement," as part of International Education Week activities at Kansas University. The presentation will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Oread Books in the Kansas Union.
The event is free, and the public is invited.
"Creating Shamsiyah: Empowering the Saudi Feminist Movement" continues the exploration of Saudi culture begun in McCown's earlier book, "Shifting Sands: Life in Arabia with a Saudi Princess." McCown lived in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, moving there in 1991 just after the Gulf War. She had a unique opportunity to experience Saudi society, first as the English tutor for a Royal Princess' children, and later as the director of a new learning center for Saudi women that the Princess funded and entrusted her to develop. Returning to the U.S. in the summer of 2001, McCown soon decided to step out publicly and explain what she had learned about the Saudi view of the world. She continues that mission in the book "Creating Shamsiyah," which relates the personal growth and shared vision that developed in the friendship between the Princess and McCown as they worked for Saudi women's issues.
McCown, a Georgia native who received a master's degree in communications from Auburn University, is a former public speaking instructor. Her appreciation for Saudi Arabia was sparked by her parents, who lived and worked in Riyadh for many years. McCown's first book, "Shifting Sands: Life in Saudi Arabia with a Saudi Princess," was nominated for the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. She lives in the Midwest with her two children, who still think of the Saudi Arabia as "home."