Reality and Buying the Bangkok Girl
I'm still trying to find a publisher for Buying the Bangkok Girl, a mystery/thriller. Obviously, I want you to all buy it and read it someday. But I am not waiting for that happy day to talk about it.
No spoiler alert needed! You won't learn the story line of Bangkok Girl here, and I'm certainly not going to give away the ending. However, I will reveal this much. The story involves poverty and prostitution--the international sex trade. The bad guys in Bangkok Girl are figments of my imagination, but the real world is rife with plenty of modern slavers.
I heartily recommend Half the Sky, by the Pulitzer award-winning team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. Kristof and Wudunn, journalist husband and Wall Street investment banker wife, won their Pulitzer for writing about the democracy movement in China in the 1980s and 1990s. Half the Sky came out in 2009 and pulls us into a different worldwide issue: poverty and women.
Sex trafficking is only one symptom of women's poverty. Kristof and Wudunn show how, in poor countries all around the world, poor girls suffer malnutrition, beatings, brothels, burnings, preventable medical conditions, and giving birth alone and without medical help. But they also report how women around the world are able to improve their own conditions if they have even modest educational and economic opportunities. Half the Sky is not a depressing book, though it is shocking. It is greatly hopeful.
Just to whet your appetite, here is a link to an interview with Nicholas Kristof. (Thanks to Paula Hampton, who sent this to me.)
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