Memoir-writing: “Never Cheat a Holy Man”

Never Cheat a Holy Man is a memoir about the three enlightening adventure-filled years in the mid-60's when my family and I lived in East Pakistan. As "memsahib" my job was to supervise a Muslim all-male household workforce. When the cook warmed the toast in his armpits and chilled the chicken in the refrigerator - still alive, I realized I was not communicating adequately. I acquired new skills mediating between cook and laundryman, who were at constant odds. The 1965 India-Pakistan conflict caused particular concern for my friends and me when we were held at gunpoint, accused of being spies by Bengali soldiers. The Hindu holy man's retracted blessings, and getting my sari pulled off by a small boy at a village fair were just two instances that gave me new understanding of this culture so unlike my own. Despite the poverty and disease I saw, there was much beauty, harmony and humor to appreciate. -- Joyce Mueller

The voice of Joyce Mueller in her audio memoir enchants--as does her prose. The process of adapting to a different culture can be taxing and rewarding. This author takes the reader into her new world with the joy to be found through a sympathetic and loving perspective. The effect is sheer delight. – Peggy Gardner

Sunday, December 11th
1:30 PM
Unity Hall
Joyce Mueller, 92, describes her 3 years in Bangladesh, and how she came to writing about it.

Never Cheat a Holy Man is a memoir about the three enlightening adventure-filled years in the mid-60's when my family and I lived in East Pakistan. As "memsahib" my job was to supervise a Muslim all-male household workforce. When the cook warmed the toast in his armpits and chilled the chicken in the refrigerator - still alive, I realized I was not communicating adequately. I acquired new skills mediating between cook and laundryman, who were at constant odds. The 1965 India-Pakistan conflict caused particular concern for my friends and me when we were held at gunpoint, accused of being spies by Bengali soldiers. The Hindu holy man's retracted blessings, and getting my sari pulled off by a small boy at a village fair were just two instances that gave me new understanding of this culture so unlike my own. Despite the poverty and disease I saw, there was much beauty, harmony and humor to appreciate. -- Joyce Mueller

The voice of Joyce Mueller in her audio memoir enchants--as does her prose. The process of adapting to a different culture can be taxing and rewarding. This author takes the reader into her new world with the joy to be found through a sympathetic and loving perspective. The effect is sheer delight. – Peggy Gardner

Cost: Love Offering
Location: Unity Hall
Contact: Donn Davy
Email Contact: dfdavy@well.com

Guest Speaker: Joyce Mueller -

Joyce Mueller, now in her 90’s, remembers how it felt to be a Caucasian, English-speaking, non-Muslim, nurse, wife, and mother confronting a totally opposite culture. She went from scared and shocked to empathetic and appreciative. Now widowed, Mrs. Mueller lives on the southern Oregon coast. She is still writing poetry and stories about her further travels and adventures in West Pakistan, in the Solomon Islands, in her native North Dakota as wel l as the exotic Pacific Northwest of the United States.
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