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launch pic & quote copy

 

We’re proudly working with the Headington Institute to help them continue to provide excellent care and support to aid workers when they need it most. To this end, Chasing Misery contributors are donating at least 10% of the book’s royalties to Headington. Their President and Cofounder just sent us this very kind response:

“Thank you for designating a portion of the book royalties to the Headington Institute.  We are stunned by this act of generosity and support.  The encouragement this gives us is hard to put into words.  We are so very grateful to you and your colleagues.  
 
May this book comfort and empower women throughout the aid world, while causing us all to join together to bring needed change.”  
Best wishes,
Jim
James D. Guy, Ph.D.
President & Cofounder
Headington Institute

 

 

One of the reasons we thought that Chasing Misery would be an important book to publish was that not enough attention has been paid to the psycho-social issues that women in aid work face either while they continue to do their work or after they return home. A number of essays in the book reflect on these issues as the essayists share their own struggles with depression, fear, and guilt.

Today, in the Guardian an article has been published highlighting this very topic called, Aid workers and post-traumatic stress disorder. This article explains clearly explains the battle and guilt that some aid workers face.

We’re working with Headington Institute (also mentioned in the article) to help develop resources specifically for women working in aid work. To this end, 10% of any royalties will go to Headington to help them in their important work!

 

I’ve climbed the bleached plywood steps to knock on the tinny door of the travel trailer. The air is still. As I give it one more tap while scanning the ghostly emptiness of the sterile trailer park, the door creaks open. Hunching in the doorway, blinking into the sunlight, is a man so emaciated, so pale, I’m certain he is a breath away from the next world. I adjust my NGO-issued baseball cap and clipboard and explain my purpose.

Thus writes Miranda Bryant in her essay From New Orleans to South Sudan: How I Healed by Moving to a War-Torn Country. In this moving essay – from the forthcoming anthology, Chasing Misery – Miranda recounts the surreality of responding to a disaster in her own city. In late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States wreaking unprecedented damage. In total, 1,836 people died, millions were left homeless and property damage was estimated to be $81 billion USD. On its own doorstep, the United States experienced the death, damage and displacement normally associated with natural disasters and wars in other countries.

When asked why she wanted to be involved in the Chasing Misery project, Miranda said:

Ironically I’m not one to subscribe to gender disaggregated bodies of work. But, in this case I felt compelled to write about an experience that left an indelible mark on my life. My essay is about the early days of my career. No matter how many locations I have since worked in or titles I have had, I never forget what it was like to be working as a root-bound resident of a large-scale natural disaster location — to realize that this “ruin is my surround.” It’s been an honor to be part of this work that I hope will have readers appreciating the emotional complexity of working in this business that is equal parts bitter and sweet.

Miranda’s essay can be read in Chasing Misery, an anthology of essays from women working in humanitarian responses. The anthology will be published on 8th March, 2014, and will be available from Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

 

The editorial team is very excited to announce the imminent launch of Chasing Misery on 8th March, 2014 – International Women’s Day.

A vast amount of work has been put into this anthology by the authors, photographers and editors. We are all very proud of the finished product and cannot wait to share it with you.

The book will be available from Amazon in both paperback and eBook formats. Check back here on 8th March, so you can get your hands on your very own copy.

To keep updated in the meantime, check out our facebook page and twitter feed (@chasing_misery), where we will be releasing exclusive content from the book to whet your appetite!

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