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  • handmade canvas and leather travel accessories

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    Cowgirls & Pirates isn't just a travel company. Our roots are in media, and whether it's travel or armchair adventures, our mission is to learn about the world.


    Waiting for Charlie, a collection of writing about the real Africa, not the fantasy, is our first publication. Our imprint is Cowgirls & Pirates Media, our publishing partner is Pronoun, a subsidiary of MacMillan.


    Stories you won't hear anywhere else.

    Waiting for Charlie

    Now a trade paperback!

    In 2001, the bad girl of environmental writing was burned out. She signed up to teach journalism in Madagascar, land of pygmy hippos and lemurs. Waiting for Charlie collects her dispatches from Madagascar, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, stories taking on new urgency as the United States and Europe face the pressures that labeled African nations “failed states.”



    The best books not only enlarge our understanding of the world, reading them enlarges and even transforms ourselves in relation to that world. Waiting for Charlie is that kind of book. Travel with Susan Zakin to Africa and you'll visit places Westerners rarely see and learn stories we rarely hear.


    Susan J. Tweit, author, Walking Nature Home



    Reading Waiting for Charlie is intimate and intense, plunged into the author’s voice and experience, right beside her, right inside her. You’ll go to Sierra Leone and you’ll go to Senegal. You’ll talk to people about Africa, to Africans and non-Africans who are suffering and who are worried, and you won’t feel pity—but you’ll feel close to them. You’ll think about the nature of cruelty. You’ll see the reality of slavery. You’ll briefly enjoy a country like Madagascar where “the colors looked brighter, and the rhythm of life felt fluid”...and then you’ll understand how easily and quickly all that beauty has disappeared. If you are at all interested in Africa, read this book.


    Sharman Apt Russell, author, Diary of a Citizen Scientist, Knocking on Heaven's Door