Albert Lea Tribune - by Sarah Kirchner
Nancy Leigh Harless spent the last 10 years traveling the world and dedicating her time helping others in foreign countries. During her travels she met a lot of women, each with her own story to tell, which Harless captured in her journals. ....Harless was in Albert Lea Friday afternoon, outside of Book World in the Northbridge Mall, sharing her stories, signing books and reading some of her favorite passages. She brought many pictures of the women she met in her travels.
“Womankind” is a collection of short stories from Harless’ work across the world as a women’s health nurse practitioner.....Half the stories in the book are from Harless’ nursing experiences and half are taken from the women she met. ....Harless’ first trip, with her husband, was in 1997. A native of Iowa, she and four others went on a group study exchange to Guatemala and Belize. On that trip she saw both extremes of the countries, the poor and the very wealthy.
“That experience changed the way I want to travel,” she said, and exposed her to the need in the world.....Everywhere Harless went she said there were women with stories to tell and someone to tell it. “I have an ear for so many stories, so now it’s time for a voice,” she said....
The writing came after the travels. Harless and her husband didn’t know during their trips that a book would come out of it, even though she recorded all her experiences in her journals. However, those journals were kept for herself, with no intentions to publish a collection. Over the 10 years of travels, a few minor works had been published in nursing journals.....“Each of the women taught me something or retaught me,” Harless said....Harless toured Iowa and Nebraska with her book. Friday was her first time in Minnesota, and she chose to stop in Albert Lea.