Published by The Apocryphile Press

Berkeley, CA, November, 2011
ISBN 978-1-937002-10-7

 

ABOUT RUBY’S WORLD

What starts as a dream and spiritual calling for Karen Baldwin quickly turns into a nightmare in the Zulu region of South Africa as the obscure traditions of the Zulu tribal chiefs and witch doctors threaten her survival and prompt her expulsion from the dark continent of Africa.

Searching for purpose after surviving a heart attack and breast cancer, 52-year-old Karen Baldwin sets off alone for South Africa as the first white teacher in a rural Zulu elementary school. Her suitcases bursting with books and art supplies, Karen arrives at the tiny airport where she is greeted by Ruby Ndlela of the Zinti School.

Karen’s hosts seem eager to pursue their dreams of English proficiency and computer literacy for their “learners,” but the Zulus’ desire for westernization soon conflicts with strong tribal traditions.  Karen’s goodwill is stretched to the breaking point by encounters with infant scarification, female genital mutilation, and witch doctor dominance.  Even worse, Ruby suddenly turns on Karen and she finds herself afraid for her life, trapped in a concrete room on a locked compound until she can make her escape.

CBS SAN FRANCISCO BAY SUNDAY INTERVIEW with AUTHUR KAREN BALDWIN

 

PRAISE for RUBY’S WORLD

Karen Baldwin’s masterful memoir reads like a suspense thriller as this resolute American woman of “a certain age” journeys alone to South Africa to teach Zulu children. There she encounters a stunning resistance to change from those who invited her. Baldwin’s writing is candid, taut and relentless, as waves of cultural tension build to an unforeseen crisis that tests her courage and strength.
— PHAEDRA GREENWOOD, Award Winning Journalist

Karen Baldwin, through raw, honest, and vibrant writing, shares her journey to teach children in South Africa. Her good intentions are met by strong traditions and a real Africa—not an illusion or romanticized world—where nothing is wasted and there is little personal space. Baldwin’s journey reveals the similarities in Zulu and American families’ joys, pain, deception and love.
— DR. ANDREA HECKMAN, Cultural Anthropologist, University of New Mexico

An extraordinary story, beautifully told. Baldwin’s account of her adventure in Africa is honest, moving, frequently funny, sometimes startling, and always compelling.  This is a journey of faith, and it carries the reader along every twist and turn in that journey with remarkable clarity and grace.
— SEAN MURPHY, Author, The Time of New Weather

 

IN THE NEWS

August, 2012 – Karen Baldwin, author of Ruby’s World, becomes the first American Ambassador for the Rural Women’s Movement of South Africa.

CBS INTERVIEW of newly appointed AMBASSADOR KAREN BALDWIN

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ABC MORNING SCRAMBLE interview of AUTHOR KAREN BALDWIN

ABOUT the AUTHOR

In mid-life, Ms. Baldwin turned her back on a successful career in civil engineering to focus on her lifelong desire to serve the needs of women and children.  She graduated from the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry and earned a certificate in Spiritual Psychology from the West Coast Kabbalah School.

As an independent Interfaith Minister, she has worked as a hospital chaplain with Kaiser Permanente Hospitals and as a Hospice Field Chaplain.

Today she lives in northern New Mexico with her four-legged companion, Gabriel. In addition to her work in hospice, she officiates weddings, leads workshops on “Harnessing the Power of Your Dreams,” and presents motivational speeches on “Modern Ethics” and “Living with Passion.”

“I didn’t choose Africa,” says Baldwin. “Africa chose me, through my dreams. It was an experience that changed my life. I hope every reader comes away from RUBY’S WORLD, as I did, with deeper self-awareness and an inquisitive heart.”

Ms. Baldwin can be reached at karen@revkarenbaldwin.com

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A portion of the proceeds from RUBY’S WORLD supports the rural women and children of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  Learn more at THE RURAL WOMEN’S MOVEMENT of SOUTH AFRICA.

 

 

Ms. Baldwin is a Founding Associate Member of the WOMEN SPEAKERS ASSOCIATION.