In Her New Book, Lisa Kirchner Reveals What She Learned About Women in Qatar

Jul 11, 2014

Lisa Kirchner writes about her experiences in Qatar in her latest novel, Hello American Lady Creature.
Credit Lisa Kirchner

Lisa Kirchner’s book Hello American Lady Creature: What I Learned as a Woman in Qatar has been compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. Kirchner doesn’t mind the comparison, after all both books deal with a woman’s journey of self-discovery. Although guest host Josh Raulerson thinks Kirchner's book has a little more humor than Gilbert's bestseller.

Kirchner made her trip to Qatar to help out with Carnegie Mellon University's new campus and she had some very challenging times while over there. The hardest change for Kirchner was the heat.

"Honestly, it was almost like a third character. I got off the plane and I really felt as if a wall of air had hit me. And I love hot weather, but it changed everything. I mean, I love being outside. I love fresh air. I love eating fresh food and it doesn't grow in that sort of a climate. So it really changes everything when you're living in a life threatening environment."

The presumption that women are treated poorly in Qatar was the motivation that Kirchner used to make sure she finished her story.

"Everybody has a story. But I felt that, hopefully, this story would connect to people, and also help illustrate in the ways that I learned when I was there, that we're not actually as different as we like to think."

In Qatar, Kirchner experienced yoga for the first time. After getting into the practice she traveled to India with her yoga teacher. She says her experiences in India will be revealed in the next book, which she is currently writing.