Married (three times); divorced (twice); third husband's name Sam; children: two sons.
Agent—Marly Rusoff & Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 524, Bronxville, NY 10708.
Business owner, beautician, and writer. Kabul Beauty School, Kabul, Afghanistan, director and cofounder, 2002—; Oasis Salon and Kabul Coffee House, Kabul, Afghanistan, owner.
(With Kristin Ohlson) Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
The film rights to Kabul Beauty School have been purchased by Columbia Pictures.
Deborah Rodriguez was a beautician in Holland, Michigan, when she decided to go to Afghanistan in 2002 to help with disaster relief following the U.S invasion. What ensued, however, was a radical change in her life that she describes in her book Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil, which she wrote with Kristin Ohlson. The book follows the divorced Holland as she finds that her skills in disaster relief are minimal but that her beautician skills are in demand by her fellow aid workers. Eventually, Rodriguez begins training Afghani women in beautician skills in order to help them find a means of support. With donated funds (and later supplies from America), she helps establish the Kabul Beauty School at the Ministry of Women's Affairs. While her intentions are good, Rodriguez faces threats from radical Muslims and then the closing of her school by the government. The authors also discuss Rodriguez's marriage to an Afghani man who remains married to his first wife. Referring to Kabul Beauty School as a "compulsively readable, strange-girl-in-a-strange-land crazy-true account," Straight.com contributor Patty Jones also noted that the story "doesn't get bogged down in weighty analysis." New York Times contributor William Grimes wrote: "There's a lot of crying and a lot of laughing, but Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author's superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Rodriguez, Deborah, Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, February 15, 2007, Emily Cook, review of Kabul Beauty School, p. 32.
Daily Variety, April 23, 2007, Michael Fleming, "Col Making 'do with ‘Kabul,’" p. 3.
Library Journal, March 15, 2007, Lisa Klopfer, review of Kabul Beauty School, p. 84.
New Statesman, May 28, 2007, Hamida Ghafour, "Afghan Secrets," p. 53.
New York Times, April 13, 2007, William Grimes, "Kabul's Silent Revolution Begins at the Beauty Salon"; April 29, 2007, Abby Ellin, "Shades of Truth: An Account of a Kabul School Is Challenged," p. 1.
School Library Journal, May, 2007, Pat Bangs, review of Kabul Beauty School, p. 175.
Time International, May 21, 2007, Donald Morrison, "Bad Hair Days," p. 59.
USA Today, April 12, 2007, Carol Memmott, "‘Kabul Beauty School’ Cuts through Cultures," p. 07.
Vogue, April, 2007, Megan Conway, "Beauty without Borders," p. 282.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (August 29, 2007), Deborah Rodriguez, review of Kabul Beauty School.
Marly Rusoff & Associates Web site,http://www.rusoffagency.com/ (August 29, 2007), brief profile of author.
Straight.com,http://www.straight.com/ (August 29, 2007), Patty Jones, review of Kabul Beauty School.