Living Large in Limbo
To recover from a mid-life loss, Kelly Hayes-Raitt traveled to the Middle East several times to work with Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. These are their stories.

Seven chapters of this extraordinary collection of literary journalism have been awarded 16 literary awards, and several chapters have been anthologized.

Living Large in Limbo is nearly finished! New final deadline is Kelly’s birthday: July 24, 2013. She’s still looking for an agent. Check back for updates or sign up at the right –> for periodic emailed updates.


Excerpts from Living Large in Limbo:  How I Found Myself Among the World’s Forgotten appear in these anthologies:

Female Nomad and Friends: 
Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World

edited by Rita Golden Gelman (Random House, 2010)

This charming anthology includes 2 Living Large in Limbo chapters: “Tongue-Tied,” the award-winning opening chapter, and “Tower of Babel,” about an evening Kelly spent with a family in Hilla just before the war. This smorgasbord of stories includes fabulous international recipes. This is a book you can really sink your teeth into!




Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011:  True Stories from Around the World
edited by Lavinia Spalding  (Travelers’ Tales, 2011)

“Tongue-Tied” also appears among these inspiring and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads are a woman’s perspective and compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn’t.

Sign up at right –> to hear Kelly read this memorable chapter about a beggar girl she met in pre-war Baghdad.



The Chalk Circle:  Intercultural Prizewinning Essays
edited by Tara L. Masih (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2012) 

This ground-breaking anthology of intercultural essays explores many facets of culture not previously found under one cover. The powerful, honest, thoughtful voices — Native American, African American, Asian, European, Jewish, White — speak daringly on topics not often discussed in the open, on subjects such as racism, anti-Semitism, war, self-identity, gender, societal expectations.

<-- That's Kelly on the cover!  


Becoming:  What Makes a Woman
edited by Jill McCabe Johnson  (University of Nebraska, 2012)

Living Large’s “Getting Bombed” is in this must-read anthology of life-altering personal experiences. “Getting Bombed” is a triple entendre about Kelly’s reactions to watching the relentless “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad. Becoming’s personal essays and poems mark significant life events from women’s early formative experiences to vibrant later years. Strong women caring for parents and children, fighting oppression, facing arranged marriages, bridging cultural and gender differences, and defending the weak.


Be There Now
edited by Julie Rand  (Dream of Things, 2012)

“Still Alive,” Living Large’s award-winning chapter about Iraqi refugees in Damascus, appears in this collection of true travel stories featuring 22 contributors who share adventures and escapades from around the world. “Still Alive” follows a day in the life of Abdullah, his father and his 2 teenage daughters as they cope with discrimination, dwindling resources and endless bureaucracy. “It’s all lines,” sighs Abdullah.




Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana: 
Funny Travel Stories and Strange Packing Tips

edited by Marcy Gordon  (Travelers’ Tales, 2012)

While touring a water treatment plant in post-invasion Fallouja, an Iraqi man exposed himself to Kelly. Her hilarious account, “Flashed in Fallouja,” in included in this laugh-out-loud collection will resonate with experienced travelers and novices alike and includes hilarious misadventures with packing, travel fashion, border crossings, language faux pas, weird encounters with exotic cuisine, and romantic overtures abroad.