Synopses & Reviews
“A moving, unsentimental, and informative account of the painful personal experience that inspired, and continues to fuel, [Fadumo Korn’s] work.”—Francine Prose, People magazine, starred critic’s choice
“This impassioned, beautifully written memoir is a testament to the possibility of wedding literary prose to sophisticated political arguments. . . . A brutally honest, politically sensitive, and bold addition to literature on global women’s health.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A courageous . . . indispensable testament.”—Elfriede Jelinek, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature
Selected as a Kirkus Reviews top pick for book clubs, Fadumo Korn’s story describes her brutal circumcision at age seven and her agonizing path to physical and psychological recovery.
Born a nomad, freely roaming the Somalian steppes, Korn nearly dies from the effects of female genital mutilation (FGM). As her health deteriorates, Korn is sent to Mogadishu for treatment and, despite the looming civil war, finds herself living amid luxury in the household of her uncle, a relative of the Somali president. Escaping the political upheaval, she travels to Europe for advanced medical care and eventually becomes an anti-FGM activist.
Fadumo Korn is the vice president of FORWARD-Germany, an organization dedicated to promoting action to stop FGM. She lives with her husband and son in Munich.
Writer and radio journalist Sabine Eichhorst is the author of Courage to Defend Yourself: Strategies against Sexual Violence and A Long Way Home: A Prisoner of Uzbekistan.
Dr. Tobe Levin is collegiate professor at the University of Maryland in Europe and co-founder of FORWARD-Germany.
"A moving, unsentimental, and informative account of the painful personal experience that inspired, and continues to fuel, [Fadumo Korn's] work." Francine Prose, People magazine
"This impassioned, beautifully written memoir is a testament to the possibility of wedding literary prose to sophisticated political arguments. . . . A brutally honest, politically sensitive, and bold addition to literature on global women's health." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A courageous . . . indispensable testament." Elfriede Jelinek, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature
"Born in the Big Rains begins like a beautifully written work of fiction . . . but the writing's rich details and driving action belie that this is no tall tale . . . [Korn's] testament on FGM [is] brave and full of strength." Feminist Review
As a feisty nomad, Fadumo freely roamed the wild steppes of her native Somalia until her mother delivered her into the hands of an excisor to undergo female genital cutting (FGC, also known as female genital mutilation or FGM), to be made a woman in the eyes of her tribe. The complications brought on by the circumcision provide the impetus to her search for health and her story. Fadumo first travels to the bustling city of Mogadishu and the household of a wealthy uncle, brother of the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned by political instability and cruelty in a country gearing for rebellion. As her symptoms worsen, she journeys to Germany, where she receives not only therapy but love and acceptance from the most unlikely of places.
Fadumo Korn weaves together a sensitive understanding of traditional practices with revelations about their disturbing effects. This deftly crafted tale, full of sorrow and surprising humor, provides a candid history of a life sculpted by crippling rheumatism and an unexpected path to recovery.
Now in paperback: a Kirkus Reviews book club pick and a People magazine's Critic's Choice.
About the Author
Born in 1964, Fadumo Korn is the vice president of FORWARD-Germany, an organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of African women and girls, and to promoting action to stop harmful tradition practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM). She lives with her husband and son in Munich. Sabine Eichhorst is the author of Courage to Defend Yourself: Strategies against Sexual Violence and A Long Way Home: Prisoner of Uzbekistan. Tobe Levin is professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Maryland in Europe and adjunct at the University of Frankfurt. She is the editor of Feminist Europa, and the chair of FORWARD - Germany against FGM (female genital mutilation). She was elected secretary of the European Network against Harmful Traditional Practices, especially FGM (Brussels).