Weaving a Malawi Sunrise

A Woman, A School, A People

By Roberta Laurie
Categories: Literature & Language Studies, Auto/biography & Memoir, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Women’s Studies, Political Science, International Political Science
Series: Wayfarer
Publisher: University of Alberta Press
Paperback : 9781772120868, 440 pages, October 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781772121131, 432 pages, November 2015
Ebook (MobiPocket) : 9781772121148, 432 pages, November 2015
Ebook (PDF) : 9781772121155, 432 pages, November 2015

Table of contents


1 | The Dream Becomes Reality
2 | The Warm Heart of Africa
3 | Education for All
4 | You Should Work Hard in School
5 | I Should Be Buried
6 | What It Means To Be an Orphan
7 | Life in the Village
8 | Canadians Educating African Girls
9 | A Trip to the Lake
10 | The CEAG Girls
11 | Growing Up
12 | Quietly, Malawi Begins to Starve
13 | A Global Perspective
14 | The Dream Takes Shape
15 | Atsikana Pa Ulendo
16 | A Moral Universe



“When you educate a girl, you educate a nation.” —Malawian saying

The women of Malawi, like many other women in developing countries, struggle to find their way out of poverty and build a better life for themselves and their families. Weaving a Malawi Sunrise tells the story of Memory Chazeza’s quest to get an education and to build a school for young women. Roberta Laurie was one of many who helped Memory realize her vision of seeing young girls become strong and independent women who could care for themselves and their future families. During her time in Malawi, Laurie met several other women, each of whom had a story of her own. Laurie combines these personal accounts with detailed information about the country’s underlying social and political context. Readers interested in Africa, global affairs, women’s studies, development, and international education will give high marks to Weaving a Malawi Sunrise.


  • Winner, INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards / Foreword Reviews 2016


"Laurie's moving book about gender and education in Malawi chronicles the construction of a girls’ school through the heroic efforts of educator Memory Chazeza and her Canadian collaborators (including the author). The book’s chapters alternate between stories of women the author met in Malawi while working alongside Chazeza, vignettes from Chazeza’s life, and essential sociopolitical context about Malawi. With a gripping narrative and touching personal stories, the book is very accessible... Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates." [Full review at http://bit.ly/1NGTES5]

- C. Pinto

"Roberta Laurie, a former Rotarian, has written a book that is both heart warming and sobering. On the one hand, we read about young women experiencing life changing educational success. On the other hand, we read about the challenges girls and women experience in rural Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world.... [The book] portrays the development of a courageous, visionary leader.... In addition, the book is rich with the history, culture, geography, and politics of Malawi. This material is deftly presented as the context for the development of [the school].... The emphasis on the stories of Memory, Christie, and the students move the narrative forward and capture and hold readers’ interest." [Full article at http://bit.ly/1ZBUFAm]

- Dean Wood

#5 on the Edmonton Journal's Non-fiction Bestsellers list for the week ofJune 03, 2016.

- The Edmonton Journal

"Most everyone has a place that inspires reflection and contentment: a Paris café, a salmon run on the Miramichi River, your grandmother’s kitchen table. Roberta Laurie is an Alberta Rotarian who finds her place at a Malawian school for girls. The result is intriguing and joyful. "Weaving A Malawi Sunrise" never patronizes. Laurie is a delightful writer.... "Weaving A Malawi Sunrise" is kind and eloquent, by turn angry and evocative..." [Full article at https://www.blacklocks.ca/review-one-day-at-the-rotary-club]

- Holly Doan

#1 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of November 27, 2015 The Edmonton Journal

- The Edmonton Journal

"...very highly recommended for academic library Contemporary African Studies reference collections..."

- Julie Summers