Synopses & Reviews
The story of how one of the "most powerful women in women's rights" (Forbes
)is paving the way to a world with human dignity for all.
However Long the Night is the extraordinary story of one woman's determination to create a movement toward change, and a better future, for millions of girls and women across Africa. Molly Melching grew up in the Midwest but was called to explore the world outside her hometown when she arrived in Senegal in 1974. There, she quickly grew invested in the fate of the Senegalese women she met. Based on her experiences living in a remote African village, she founded Tostan, an organization dedicated to empowering African communities by using democracy and human-rights-based education to promote relationships built upon dignity, equality, and respect. She forever changed her life and the lives of those touched by Tostan.
Unlike many Western organizations that have tried to transform various African cultures from the outside, Melching, who was named as one of the "150 women who shake the world" by Newsweek and Daily Beast, understands that true change comes only from within. Tostan's groundbreaking strategies have led to better education for the women of rural Africa, improved health care, a decrease in child/forced marriage, and declarations by thousands of African communities to abandon the centuries-old practice of female genital cutting.
However Long the Night brings together Melching's riveting personal journey with the stories of the Senegalese women and men who found the courage to lead this movement. This book is a testament to the fact that the connections between women can lead to a better world.
"Molloy offers a moving account of one woman's struggle to empower African women and challenge tradition. Molly Melching, founder of the NGO Tostan in Senegal, went from a quiet life in small-town Illinois to running an educational organization that has had remarkable success in ending the practice of female genital cutting (FGC). This practice, known by most Senegalese women as 'the tradition,' is intended to prepare a girl for marriage, and is performed by the women themselves. Most women consider the tradition to be a religious obligation required by the Koran, though the side effects include infections, childbirth difficulties, and even death. Melching, having lived in Senegal since 1974 as an exchange student, founded Tostan to set up classes in villages throughout the country to educate women on health, literacy, and human rights. After initial hesitation, they schooled students about the many health issues involved in FGC. In one village, women resolved to no longer cut their daughters, declaring so publicly in 1997. Native women and men travelled around the country to speak about the practice and convinced other villages to publicly end it. There is now the possibility of ending the practice in Senegal within one generation. Reading like a novel, this book demonstrates the power of education and grassroots organizing. Kristine Dahl, ICM." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Molloy offers a moving account of one womans struggle to empower African women and challenge tradition…Reading like a novel, this book demonstrates the power of education and grassroots organizing.” Publishers Weekly
“Melchings incredible journey from Illinois to Africa, from graduate student to great humanitarian, is paralleled by the journey of the countless women touched by her work: a journey to understanding, empowerment and human dignity.” Lisa See, bestselling author of < i=""> Snow Flower and the Secret Fan <>
“ There is no way to overestimate the gift that Tostan and its leader, Molly Melching, have given to the world. The amount of suffering they have alleviated is beyond anything we can gauge. What a story, what a power, and what a blessing.” Marianne Williamson, < i=""> New York Times <> bestselling author
“The story of Molly Melching and Tostan proves that determined and loving individuals can accomplish the seemingly impossible--abandonment of a harmful tradition that is thousands of years old.” Former President Jimmy Carter
“Molly Melching saw a deeply disturbing but deeply entrenched practice and refused to accept that it couldnt be stopped. Her relentless efforts are proof that commitment and partnership can drive transformational change.” Hillary Rodham Clinton
“Melchings transformation from Midwestern college graduate to thrill-seeking international crusader makes for compelling reading…Molloy has a reporters knack for selecting and arranging the most salient details of Melchings experiences, and the resulting story is moving and memorable…Uplifting and inspirational.” Kirkus Reviews
“This is the story of an extraordinary woman: Molly Melching. Molly has worked in Senegalese communities to improve lives of the countrys poorest people. . . . This book reinforced my belief that developing communities already have the potential to spark change that will lead to better lives for themselves and their families.” < b=""> Melinda Gates <>
In However Long the Night, Aimee Molloy tells the unlikely and inspiring story of Molly Melching, an American woman whose experience as an exchange student in Senegal led her to found Tostan and dedicate almost four decades of her life to the girls and women of Africa.
This moving biography details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey of 40 years in Africa, where she became a social entrepreneur and one of humanity's strongest voices for the rights of girls and women.
Inspirational and beautifully written, However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph is a passionate entreaty for all global citizens. This book is published in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, dedicated to accelerating innovations from organizations like Tostan that address the world's most pressing problems.
About the Author
Aimee Molloy has collaborated on seven books, including Maziar Bahari's Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival and Pam Cope's Jantsen's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.