Interview with Monica Neboli, editor of Kazakhstan anthology

Expat Bookshop chats to Monica Neboli, editor of “Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt: Expat Stories From Kazakhstan” (Summertime 2013), an anthology of expat experiences in Kazakhstan.

Drinking-Camels-Milk-in-the-YurtEB: Tell us about Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few sentences?

MN: It’s an anthology of stories written by expats who have lived, or are still living, in Kazakhstan. It’s a way to get to know this interesting country, to understand its essence, through the eyes of 24 authors from 11 countries.

EB: Why did you write it?

MN: I lived in Kazakhstan for several years. I was so fascinated by the country that I decided to create a collection of stories by expats on it.

EB: Why do you think your book needed to be written?

MN: This is the book I wanted to read before leaving for Kazakhstan (unfortunately it hadn’t been written yet). I hope it will help new expats arriving in the country. Having the right information on a place mean you spend less time adapting and it helps to maximize the enrichment that comes from knowing that place more deeply.

EB: Who do you think will read your book? Or who would you like to read your book?

MN: Everyone interested in knowing more about the country.

EB: How did you choose your publisher and publishing method? Why did you decide to go down this route?

MN: It was a natural consequence: during a conference I shared my idea with a special woman who happened to be a publisher.

EB: What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of your book? How have you overcome that?

MN: Maintaining the commitment to work on the realization of the book despite the commitments of mom, wife and work.

EB: Now you have written this book, what has writing it done for you, your family, your self-esteem or your business?

MN: For me it means closing a chapter in my life and celebrating in the best way possible my experience in Kazakhstan.

EB: If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about putting together an anthology, what would be your number one tip?

MN: Do it! It is not easy, but if you let yourself be inspired by the enthusiasm of your fellow adventurers you can achieve something to be proud of.

Get a FREE copy of the first three stories of Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt at

Read more about Drinking Camel’s Milk in the Yurt here.



Author: Monica Neboli

Monica Neboli (Lecco, Italy, 1969) has always been fascinated by other cultures. Before getting married, she backpacked all over the world. She then lived abroad with her husband and two daughters from 2006 until 2011, when she returned to her home country. During those five years abroad, she lived in Egypt and Kazakhstan, working as a coach to expat families, assisting them in adjusting harmoniously to their host country. While in Egypt, she wrote a booklet, ‘Benvenuti al Cairo’ [‘Welcome to Cairo’], for expat families arriving in Cairo, in collaboration with GIE (Gruppo Italiani in Egitto: a group for Italians in Egypt) and the Italian Embassy. While in Kazakhstan she ran a seminar called ‘Fundamentals of living in Kazakhstan’ to enable the expat community to learn more about the culture and history of their host country. Monica and her family enjoyed experiencing the many different cultures and peoples of Kazakhstan and it was this that inspired her to compile a book of expat experiences in Kazakhstan. She has two daughters, Eleonora and Agata, who are happily growing up as citizens of the world. Monica currently works in the corporate university of an oil company in Italy.

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