I haven’t read this book yet, but I am fascinated by the concept. Artists are interesting people; they have a unique way of looking at the world, and I always enjoy getting a chance to peek inside at that process. Layer that with the experience of being an American woman stationed with her husband in the Middle East and a whole different perspective on the world opens up. If you are curious to see how this plays out then scroll down to the list of bloggers to see how they’ve taken up Leeana’s challenge. Or click on these sites:

www.tasramar.com
www.likepaperlanterns.blogspot.com

Debut author Leeana Tankersley constructs a literary collage of memories and mementoes from living in the Middle East during the Iraq War in her travel memoir, Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places (Nov. 2009). She reflects on discovering beauty in a foreign land by weaving together her experiences living in the Persian Gulf for a year.

After marrying a Navy SEAL, Tankersley moved over 8,000 miles away from her home in San Diego to Bahrain where her husband was stationed. She retraces her steps through the Middle East, and she recalls the subtle changes in herself that left her utterly transformed. Somewhere between bartering in a souq, a Middle Eastern market, and wearing a borrowed abaya, an Islamic overgarment, to tour the Grand Mosque, Tankersley found a profound beauty in the unknown that sunk beneath her skin.

Found Art is an insightful collection of stories that Tankersley crafts into a literary piece of artwork. With an artist’s eye she combines bits of memories and trinkets – a handwritten note from Kuwait, a braid of fringe from a Persian rug, a Navy SEAL Trident – to create her own piece of Found Art. She celebrates what most would overlook – a receipt from the Russian-Georgian restaurant on Louisiana Street, a bit of basting thread – to piece together a work of unexpected beauty.

“Writing, for me, is often about two things,” says Tankersley, “creative processing and authentic giving. The book has been my way of working through, and then salvaging, the bits and pieces of Bahrain. In that sense, I wrote it for myself, so that I would never forget. Also, I wrote the book for those who are feeling lost, as I have felt so often. Ideally it offers the honest gifts of permission and validation and hope and beauty.”

Perfect for book clubs or small groups, Tankersley includes discussion prompts broken down by chapter for personal or group reflection. Tankersley invites readers into her deepest insecurities and her greatest joys of living in a foreign place. Her writing encourages readers to discover the beauty of the foreign places in their own lives – whether it be a year abroad or entering a new season of life.

About the Author:

Leeana Tankersley

A native of San Diego, Leeana Tankersley received her B.S. in English from Liberty University and her M.A. in English from West Virginia University. After marrying her husband, Steve, Leeana lived in the Middle East during the Iraq war and returned to San Diego to work at Flood Church. She and Steve now live in Coronado, California with their twins Luke and Lane.

Learn more about Leeana at www.gypsyink.com.

Found Art
Release: Nov 2009
Hard cover, 224 pp.
ISBN: 031029133X
Get it here:

Participating Bloggers in the Found Art Blog Tour
Lost in Translation
Merrie Destefano
Musings by Lynn
Paper Bridges
Ponderings by Andrea
Scraps and Snippets
Sky-High View
Sumballo
Suzy Q Homemaker
The 160-acre Woods
The Hahn Hunting Lodge
The Prairie Maid
Uma Pirralha Na Universidade
Wives of Faith

Legal disclaimer for those who care: the publisher accidentally sent me a free copy of this book.