Broken by divorce, debt, and workplace sexual harassment, twenty-six-year-old Bernadette Nason is hanging by a thread. When her cat is run over by a garbage truck, Nason makes an impetuous decision. With almost no travel experience, she grabs the first available overseas job and, within two months, finds herself in Libya. ‘Fitting in’ has never been her strength, yet here she is, the most unstable, self-loathing, slightly overweight fish ever to throw itself recklessly out of its own water. Move over, Bridget Jones, there’s a new, real-life idiot in town.
Inspired by her expatriate adventures during Gaddafi's turbulent regime, c. 1984-85, Nason covers her thwarted desire to ‘fit in’, from bizarre daily life to terrifying confrontations with the Morality Police. Told with candor and wit, TEA IN TRIPOLI, follows a young woman’s attempts to escape her past on an extraordinary, often perilous, journey of self-discovery. It’s sure to resonate with anyone who has ever run away from problems instead of taking care of business.
Ian Manners, D. Phil (Oxon), Emeritus Professor of Geography and the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin wrote:
This picaresque tale chronicles one young woman's seriously funny quest to reinvent herself. You will cheer in amazement as Nason wrestles with inner demons while facing down the morality police and the overarching threat of violence. Drenched in the aftermath of colonialism, Tea in Tripoli is a coming of age tale like no other. Nason is a brave and witty travel companion who leaves you looking forward to the next trip.
Dr. Donna Ingham, Storyteller and Author of Tales with a Texas Twist and Texas Myths and Legends wrote:
Nason writes with honesty and warmth. She’s a wonderful story-teller, and this memoir is full of wit and humour. It’s a journey many will recognize, trying to find oneself in a new place, even if we can’t bring it to life with the poignancy and colour that make this memoir such a delight to read. Nason challenges us to think again about our own journeys. She reminds us that wherever you go becomes part of you in some way. You may come back to where you started, but you see it in new ways.
Susan Miville, Director of Education, Austin Symphony wrote:
Writing like the accomplished storyteller she is, Nason takes us on a journey--both literal and metaphorical--in this compelling memoir. Hers is a fascinating voice full of insight and humor, and the result is by turns intense and hilarious.
Tea in Tripoli is an irresistibly fascinating account of a young British woman living in Libya during the time of Gaddafi. Bernadette Nason is an accomplished story teller, and in this memoir she transfers her oral abilities into the written word in a most beguiling and engaging way. She writes about an array of escapades and adventures, ones that are poignant as well as those that are outright hilarious, conveying all the complexities a young woman on her own would face in an unfamiliar repressive culture. And she does all of this as if speaking directly to the reader with an honesty that is truly disarming.