In November 2015, the University of Alberta Press released my new book, Weaving a Malawi Sunrise.


One woman’s determination to educate Malawian girls and change the future of a nation.

“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 interweaves these accounts with well-researched 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.

Weaving a Malawi Sunrise is available for purchase through the University of Alberta Press, Chapters/Indigo, and If you’re in Edmonton, Alberta, Audrey’s Books has signed copies in their store.


If you are in the Edmonton area, I will come to speak at your book club, Rotary Club, school, library, or service club. Email me for details:



“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

Dean Wood, ClubRunner

“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]

Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter

“…very highly recommended for academic library Contemporary African Studies reference collections…”

Julie Summers, Reviewer’s Bookwatch

“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]

C. Pinto, Choice Magazine

“Your skillful blending of historical background and personal stories made for enlightening and inspirational reading. Of course, I especially appreciated learning of Memory’s long, heartbreaking and ultimately successful journey, and the accounts of many other young women associated with APU.”


INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards / Foreword Reviews, United States



Watch the In Their Own Words Trailer.


2 Comments on “Books

  1. Pingback: Weaving a Malawi Sunrise | Roberta Laurie

  2. Pingback: What Writers are Reading: A Third Verb Summer Reading List – THIRD VERB

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