Kirkus Review calls The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon the "story of a young woman who outwitted the Taliban to become a successful entrepreneur." "Outwitted" does not seem to me to be the right word. Kamila Sediqi spent more effort on being invisible than on deceiving the Taliban, who took control of Kabul in 1996. She wore a chadris when outside her home as the Taliban demanded. She rarely left her home without her younger brother according to the Taliban rules. She worked at home as the Taliban allowed. And as the story about the rich woman ordering wedding dresses for the next day proved, the Taliban were fully aware of her dressmaking cooperative, which became too big to hide. Sympathetic members of the Taliban actually shielded her - their sisters, wives and daughters wanted dresses, too. Sediqi did break Taliban rules that could have led to her being beaten or imprisoned, but she did so stealthily. She was not "outwitting" the Taliban. Instead, she was doing what cautiously brave people have always done under many repressive regimes.
She was also not aiming to become an entrepreneur. She was simply looking for a way to provide for her sisters and neighborhood women. She left her firm with others to work for an international relief agency when she thought that was the best way for her to help her family and nation.
What distinguished Sediqi was her ability to see the opportunity to exploit and the way to provide work for many in a bad economy. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is an unusual business story with a heroine steering her company through a particularly dangerous situation. It is also a view into the heart of a tragic country. With its suspense and vivid descriptions, it should appeal to a wide variety of readers, including those who like daring characters and those who like to learn about other cultures.
Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe. Harper, 2011. ISBN 9780061732379