From School Library Journal
YA?In a frank, candid retelling of a difficult life, the authors present honest actions and reactions to customs and events in tribal Somalia beginning in the late '50s when Aman was the young daughter of a woman whose feminist sensibilities caused her to live apart from her husband and earn her own living, dangerous as that might be. Much of Aman's youth was driven by a need for money as well as a need to remain a virgin until married. Ceremonial genital surgery at age nine was performed to help preserve her virginity, but little could be done to prevent her from falling in love with a boy who was forbidden. Once she broke the taboo at 13, her reputation was soiled and her ability to make money affected. From that point to the end of this book, when she was about 19, she was on a rocky road through a disastrous marriage, poverty, war, great risks, and varying luck. Readers cannot help but be captivated by Aman's adolescent mistakes, as well as her indomitable spirit and everlasting optimism.?Ginny Ryder, Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Though it could have been sensationalized, this is in fact an intimate look at the girlhood of a 20th-century Somali. At eight, Aman was circumcised; at 13, she was married to an older man who attempted to deflower her with a knife. By 17 she had been raped, been divorced twice, borne two children, and lost one. Repeatedly, she ran from a culture that she both respected yet found too restrictive. To survive, she used men, marriage, and entrepreneurial skills, defining her motivation simply: "I wanted to get money so I could help my mama." Editors Barnes (deceased) and Boddy (cultural anthropology, Univ. of Toronto) present more than a tale of survival. Theirs is an honest, objective look at a society that, while often in today's headlines, is little understood outside of Africa. They also show Somalia's intricate patrilineal kinship and social structures. The excellent foreword and afterword by Boddy set Aman's story in Somalia's historical and contemporary social context. Recommended for anthropology, African studies, and women's studies collections.Linda V. Carlisle, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.