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A Talk by Patricia McArdle
The AUS Department of English and the Sharjah International Book Fair present a talk by Patricia McArdle
American fiction and nonfiction author Patricia McArdle, author of the award-winning novel, Farishta, retired with the rank of Senior Foreign Service Officer from the US Department of State in 2006 after a 27-year career as an American diplomat. She also served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer health educator in Paraguay and for three years as a US Naval Communications officer in Sidi Yahia, Morocco. She speaks French and Spanish. During her diplomatic career she served as a public affairs officer at US embassies and consulates in South Africa, France and Barbados. Her last overseas diplomatic posting was as the US government's senior civilian representative in Northern Afghanistan, where she was based with a British Army unit.
In 2010 she won the Grand Prize for General Fiction in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Her novel Farishta, inspired by the year she spent in Afghanistan, was released by Penguin/Riverhead Books in hardcover in June 2011 and in paperback in June 2012 when it was also awarded the San Diego Book Award for fiction.
During the year she spent in Afghanistan, McArdle noted the serious shortage of wood for cooking fuel in rural areas and its impact on the women, children and environment of Afghanistan. She began to build and demonstrate the use of solar cookers and has continued to promote this simple technology around the world on a volunteer basis. She is the editor of the Solar Cooker Review, a journal published by Solar Cookers International. She has recently completed a screenplay based on her novel Farishta.
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