A Brand New Novel
Josephine Baker, the early-20th-century African-American dancer, comic, and singer–hugely famous in Paris. Did you know that she was also a spy for the French Resistance during WWII?
Hundreds of hardy Montana souls braved the bitter cold and ice to hear me deliver my speech as part of the Carroll College President’s Lecture Series on Thursday, Dec. 4. Everyone kept asking if I wasn’t cold in that little ol’ cocktail dress, but I told them I’m still a Montana gal!
Besides, who could be cold with a title like this: “Too Hot for Random House: ‘The Jewel of Medina’ and Self-Censorship?” (I still want to sell “Too Hot for Random House” coffee mugs! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons…) In it, I talked about everything from the controversy around my book to my research, to the plot and characters of my book, to my hopes that both “The Jewel of Medina” and its sequel will inspire bridge-building, empathy, and, ultimately, peace.
In my speech, I spoke against the culture of fear in which we’ve been living, not only in the U.S. but across the world, but I also exhorted my audience not to blame all Muslims for the heinous acts of a criminal few. I spoke about living life courageously and with love, as A’isha did. My message must have reached hearts as well as minds, for at the end Professor Barry Ferst invited me to come back next year for the college’s interfaith conference, and the crowd honored me with a standing ovation. Afterwards, I signed books until they ran out, and took orders for a few more. This, folks, is why I keep reminding people that I am a Montana gal…