The Kurdish Bike: A Novel

First Place

Best Fiction of 2017  

North Street Book Prize



Gold Medal Winner  

Best Regional Fiction of 2017
Independent Publishers Book Award

First Place in North Street Book Awards

The Kurdish Bike has just received another first place award -- Best Fiction in the North Street Book Awards Contest for 2017 -- out of nearly 400 entries....

Meet the Author in Soquel March 14, 2018

Alesa Lightbourne will be speaking as part of the Porter Memorial Library's Meet the Author program on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in Soquel, California. The public is invited....

Publishers Weekly Review

Great review of The Kurdish Bike in Publishers Weekly, the preeminent magazine for the publishing world. "Lightbourne writes in a cinematic prose and easily folds in background about the Kurdish people’s suffering under Saddam Hussein. This story of sisterhood,...

NY Times Travel Article about Kurdistan

This article shares the majesty and beauty of Kurdish Iraq: An ancient city gate in Amadiya, in the Kurdish region of Iraq. CreditMark Edward Harris A Journey Into Iraqi Kurdistan Ancient...

Twilight of the Kurds in Foreign Policy This article provides a clear analysis of the Kurdish geo-political situation, as of mid-January 2018, particularly how the September referendum set them back from their ultimate goal of...

Is Baghdad plotting war on Kurds?

(Dec. 18, 2017) -- Reuters reports that Kurds fear attacks from Baghdad, which Baghdad denies. Here's the latest: Kurdish...

Nechirawavan Barzani still loves the US

Fox News, of all places, published an article December 4th, about why the Kurds still feel close to the US, even though we are not supporting their independence. The article definitely portrays the Iraqi Kurds as reasoned, not as a bunch of hot heads (as some media...

Is the US Assisting Kurds or Not?

If you're in the US (like I am), it's really hard to find out, much less understand, what is happening with the Kurds. For instance, just two days ago Trump announced that the US would stop assisting the Kurds militarily. Now today, Deutsche Welle reported that Syrian...

NY Times: Why the Kurds’ Independence Referendum Backfired

November 5, 2017:  Very sad but insightful analysis in the NY Times of setbacks after the Sept. 25 referendum for Kurdish independence.

NY Times: Why Baghdad Wants Kirkuk So Badly

On Nov. 3, 2017, the New York Times explained the energy situation in Kurdish Iraq -- and why Baghdad so fervently fought to win Kirkuk back from the Kurds last week. As an aside, a peshmerga from the village described in The Kurdish Bike was killed in early November...
Courageous teachers wanted to rebuild war-torn nation.

With her marriage over and life gone flat, Theresa Turner responds to an online ad, and lands at a school in Kurdish Iraq. Befriended by a widow in a nearby village, Theresa is embroiled in the joys and agonies of traditional Kurds, especially the women who survived Saddam’s genocide only to be crippled by age-old restrictions, brutality and honor killings. Theresa’s greatest challenge will be balancing respect for cultural values while trying to introduce more enlightened attitudes toward women — at the same time seeking new spiritual dimensions within herself.

The Kurdish Bike is gripping, tender, wry and compassionate — an eye-opener into little-known customs in one of the world’s most explosive regions — a literary novel of love, betrayal and redemption.

Published in 2016, The Kurdish Bike is available in independent bookstores, and on as a paperback or e-book.

The Kurdish Bike is a terrific read on so many levels. The author’s ability to transport the reader into a world so very foreign to our Western world was masterful. A caring kindness towards her characters came through on every page, balanced by a very contemporary thought sharing that had me laughing out loud in places. What a pivotal book considering the world of Kurdish Iraq right now. Anyone who wants to understand the nuanced world of a very foreign country through the eyes of a bright, intelligent and humorous western author should read The Kurdish Bike. Wendy Miller Lambeth