Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival

Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival

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by Fadumo Korn, Sabine Eichhorst

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European bestseller - international spokesperson against "FGM" recounts her recovery from life-threatening female circumcision.

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European bestseller - international spokesperson against "FGM" recounts her recovery from life-threatening female circumcision.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beginning with its evocative opening sentence "In the distance, a lion roared, deep and long, dismissing the night" this impassioned, beautifully written memoir is a testament to the possibility of wedding literary prose to sophisticated political arguments. Korn grew up as a spirited girl in an Islamic Somalian nomadic tribe in the late 1960s. At seven she was forced to undergo female circumcision, in which her clitoris and labia minora were removed with crude utensils and her vagina sewn up. After chronic pain, illness and rheumatism set in, Korn went to live with her rich uncle, a government official in Mogadishu, until her circumcision-related ailments became debilitating; she was taken to Germany for medical treatment, and years later her circumcision was undone. Married to a German, Korn became involved in the European campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM). While the bulk of the book is a devastating and swiftly moving account of Korn's tragedy-filled life, it also persuasively argues that health workers must understand the power of traditional customs even as they work to end FGM. Written with German writer Eichhorst, this is a brutally honest, politically sensitive and bold addition to literature on global women's health. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Patricia Moore
Born in the Somalian desert, Fadumo Husen was a happy child in a loving nomadic family, but everything changed for her when, at the age of seven, she was circumcised. Circumcision was a tradition for all Somalian girls at that time. They were told that once they were circumcised, they would be "pure" and "clean" and a woman. For Fadumo, circumcision was followed by intense fevers and swelling in all her limbs. Her resulting rheumatism so crippled and disabled her that her father finally took her to Mogadishu to see his half-brother, a doctor. There followed other doctors, other hospitals in Italy and Germany, but only temporary relief. Finally, in Germany, Faduma found a surgeon able to reduce some of the effects of the original circumcision. The saga of Fadumo's physical and psychological pain is a beautifully written backdrop to the story of her eventual crusade against the custom of female "cutting"—"cutting" because many women reject the phrase "female mutilation" as implying that they have been damaged by the process. She found the group FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development) and became an activist against female circumcision. There are two stories interwoven in this smooth-flowing text. One is personal, the story of Fadumo's life, her family, and her eventual marriage and the birth of her son. The second is that of the growing social movement in favor of African women and against female genital mutilation. Each story has its own development and outcome. Together they are a reading experience not to be missed. Reviewer: Patricia Moore

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Product Details

Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
Women Writing Africa Series
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

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