Synopses & Reviews
This powerful memoir portrays the life-altering transformation of a feisty nomad girl who undergoes genital excision. Crippled with rheumatism as a result of the cutting, Fadumo Korn, who once freely roamed the deserts of her native Somalia, is sent to live with a wealthy uncle, brother to the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned with political instability and cruelty, but receives an invaluable education. Korn eventually moves to Germany for therapy and recounts her life there—her marriage, the birth of her son, and her involvement in the movement to end genital cutting—with warm and inspiring humor.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
European bestseller - international spokesperson against "FGM" recounts her recovery from life-threatening female circumcision.
About the Author
Born in 1964, Fadumo Korn works for FORWARD - Germany, e.V, a non-governmental charitable 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. 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). Sabine Eichhorst is the author of Courage to Defend Yourself: Strategies against Sexual Violence and A Long Way Home: Prisoner of Uzbekistan.