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Caroline Kautsire’s first book

Reflecting on life choices

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booksCAROLINE—I wanted to fit in and stand out as a talented girl

Renowned writer Stephen King tells it all that if you are to become a good writer or if you are to venture into writing, then you have to have time to read.

King says if you do not have time to read, then you do not have the time or the tools to write.

Caroline Kautsire, who is based in United States of America, never knew that she would one day write her own book and tell her story.

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But having read a number of books from different writers, Caroline got the inspiration to tell her own story and today she is a happy person as she has managed to write and publish her own book titled What Kind of Girl?

She would have wished to have done it long time ago and that by now she could have been talking of lots of books to her collection – but it does not matter and for her, what matters for now is the step she has made.

“It’s not easy to write, you need to work extra hard, you need more time but all the same I am happy that finally I have done it,” Caroline said.

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There is a saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step and for Caroline how she wanted to manage the one thousand miles was to first of all make that important step.

Now with a book to her credit, the journey has begun and she is determined to do more and contribute to the world of writing.

Writing is an art and a craft that needs to be developed through deliberate practice and study over a long period of time and this is why even the world’s best writers have had to perfect themselves through practice.

Some of the best writers in the world have had to make mistakes and earned criticism but they have not given up, instead they have learned from their mistakes and then build their success story from the mistakes.

Toni Morrison says if there is a book that you want to read, but it has not been written yet, then you must write it.

And so for Caroline, her story had not been written let alone being read hence coming out with her story.

The book will be on the market on July 31 2020.

She said that What Kind of Girl? is a story of an African child caught between worlds.

For Caroline, being a girl is already confusing and growing up in the small African country known as Malawi, she is constantly asked the question – what kind of girl behaves this way?

With a thousand cultural ideas flooding into her head from American television and movies, she struggles to fit into the traditional African society she was born into. Instead, she chooses to stand out by taking risks that are curious beyond what is proper leading to disapproval and harsh consequences.

At nine years old, she finds herself enrolled in a high school at a boarding school far from her home and parents. Alone, she must finally answer the question – what kind of girl are you? for herself.

What Kind of Girl? is a sweeping coming of age story about a girl in Malawi, who must tangle with gender restrictions, religious institutions, American cultural attitudes and African traditions that seek to define who she can be as a woman,” Caroline said.

She adds that this is also a tale of how one girl’s story in a distant country in Africa can become all of “our stories”.

“After reflecting on my life choices as a child, I wondered if others struggled with growing up the way I

did. I was kind of an odd ball when I was young and being a different sort of girl can make you feel insecure or unsure about whether or not you’re behaving properly for a girl. In Malawi, that was difficult for me,” Caroline said.

She further said that she has been exposed to American and British cultures.

“So sometimes the three cultures clash in my mind and I chose peculiar things as ideals for my life. I wanted to fit in and stand out as a talented girl, but I feel short in a few ways,” Caroline said.

She singles out things such as her body issues, class, language, sexuality and religion as some of the few things that she grappled with and that writing this book for her, has helped her understand her own journey and helped her to make peace with what occurred.

The 33-year old writer is from Blantyre and currently lives in Boston.

A stage actress and an English professor, Caroline has lived in USA for almost 17 years.

“I have published several poems and flash fiction and this is my very first non-fiction book publication,” she said.

Caroline intends to find ways to get the book to Africa as at the moment, it was only available for pre-order on several websites.

“ I hope people will take time to buy and read the book. I enjoyed writing the book and just like I enjoyed writing, I have all the hope that people out there, will also enjoy it,” she said.

The writer said the book will be available on Amazon on July 31, the day it will be released.

Caroline takes time to advise fellow women not to sit on their different talents but bring them out for the world to see.

“If I hadn’t been brave to make this step, then I could not have this book on the market. Sometimes it just takes courage, it just takes that one move then you open up all the doors. I am looking forward to more exciting times and I hope this is my breakthrough,” the writer said.

Veteran writer Willie Zingani, said at one of the writing sessions, that women need to come out and show their best in their writing world.

Zingani said women are better story tellers and that they have lots of stories to talk about hence they have all what it takes to write more books.

Founder of Africa Fashion and Arts Festival and Regional Director Lush Africa, Lorraine Kljajic, hailed Caroline for the book.

“It’s good to tell our stories and I am happy that Caroline Kautsire has made that move to publish her first book,” Kljajic said.

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