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Desert Children Paperback – November 1, 2005
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I don't agree with the book description snippet in the official section of this page. The "Here, then, are the voices of women who have felt emboldened by Waris Dirie's courage." is innacurate. It could make one think this is a collection of happy endings. There's no "Mission Accomplished!" self-congratulatory tone here. This book is about Miss Dirie finding out the world of FGM (female genital mutilation) is much larger than she realized. Thus I also found out it's much larger than I realized. It's not just a "wow I didn't know that" type of book, though. It's not suitable to only think about it and say to oneself "those poor women". Solutions and answers are sought.
That's how this book should be viewed. It's a call to action. You'll cry. You'll gasp. You'll slam your fist on the table. It's about learning to ask the right questions so the solutions may be attained. If after (or before) reading this type of book you want an autobiography... a way to envision FGM within the life of a specific woman, I recommend "Slave" by Mende Nazer. It's also an essential read if you want to try to understand what is (and has been for decades) happening in Sudan. Slave is devastating but it also shows the beauty of which humans are capable. It's one of the best, most important autobiographies ever.
I think the research that went into Desert Children, and the writing of the book itself, was the most emotionally difficult for Miss Dirie of the 3 she's written so far. You don't have to have any sort of serious background study of FGM for you to be moved, angered and inspired by this book. It will work equally well as an introduction as it will your 10th book on the topic.Read more ›