CLEVELAND RIGHTS READERS DISCUSS IN PURSUIT OF DISOBEDIENT WOMEN
Cleveland Rights Readers discuss In Pursuit of Disobedient Women by Dionne Searcey.
In 2015, Dionne Searcey was covering the economy for The New York Times, living in Brooklyn with her husband and three young children. Saddled with the demands of a dual-career household and motherhood in an urban setting, her life was in a rut. She decided to pursue a job as the paper's West Africa bureau chief, an amazing but daunting opportunity to cover a swath of territory encompassing two dozen countries and 500 million people. Landing with her family in Dakar, Senegal, she quickly found their lives turned upside down as they struggled to figure out their place in this new region, along with a new family dynamic where she was the main breadwinner flying off to work while her husband stayed behind to manage the home front.
In Pursuit of Disobedient Women follows Searcey's sometimes harrowing, sometimes rollicking experiences of her work in the field, the most powerful of which, for her, center on the extraordinary lives and struggles of the women she encounters. As she tries to get an American audience subsumed by the age of Trump and inspired by a feminist revival to pay attention, she is gone from her family for sometimes weeks at a time, covering stories like Boko Haram-conscripted teen-girl suicide bombers or young women in small villages shaking up social norms by getting out of bad marriages. Ultimately, Searcey returns home to reconcile with skinned knees and school plays that happen without her and a begrudging husband thrown into the role of primary parent.
Life, for Searcey, as with most of us, is a balancing act. She weaves a tapestry of women living at the crossroads of old-fashioned patriarchy and an increasingly globalized and connected world. The result is a deeply personal and highly compelling look into a modern-day marriage and a world most of us have barely considered. Readers will find Searcey's struggles, both with her family and those of the women she meets along the way, familiar and relatable in this smart and moving memoir.
" In Pursuit of Disobedient Women is an urgent and necessary work, taking the reader into the heart of one of the most dangerous terrorist militias on earth. Searcey's fearless reporting on Boko Haram's survivors is as compassionate as it is unrelenting. It's a story you will not soon forget." --Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty
Dionne Searcey was the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times from 2015 to 2019. She won the Michael Kelly Award for courage in international reporting, the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award for international reporting for her coverage of Boko Haram, and a citation for her work by the Overseas Press Club. She and a team of Times journalists were nominated for an Emmy for her stories on Boko Haram. She joined the Times in 2014 to write about the American economy after working for ten years at The Wall Street Journal, where she was an investigative reporter and national legal correspondent, and covered the telecom industry. She has worked as a political reporter at Newsday and The Seattle Times and was a reporting resident at the Chicago Tribune. She started her career as a crime reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago. She was raised in Wymore, Nebraska, and lives with her husband and three children in Brooklyn, New York.
The book will be available at Mac's Backs or through our website at the 20% book club discount.
In accordance with social distancing guidelines, this meeting will take place via Zoom. Contact us for the link.