Having experienced firsthand the horror of female genital mutilation (FGM), Soraya Miré reveals the personal violation and immense challenges she overcame. This book is at once an intimate revelation, a testament to the empowerment of women, and an indictment of the violent global oppression of women and girls. This forthright narrative recounts what it means to grow up female in a traditional Somali family, where girls' and women's basic human rights are violated on a daily basis. Forced into an arranged marriage to an abusive older cousin, Miré was also witness to the instability of Somalia's political landscape-her father was a general in the military dictatorship of Siad Barre. In her journey to recover from the violence done to her, Miré realizes FGM is the ultimate child abuse, a ritual of mutilation handed down from mother to daughter and protected by the word culture.” Despite the violations she endured, her words resonate with hope, humanity, and dignity. Her life story is truly one of inspiration and redemption.
The recipient of the UN's Humanitarian Award, Soraya Miré is a human rights activist, a filmmaker, and a spokesperson against female genital mutilation. She wrote, directed, and produced the film Fire Eyes, the definitive film on FGM. Miré appeared in The Vagina Monologues in London, on Broadway, in Madison Square Garden, and in Los Angeles; she has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and other programs; and articles about her have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Essence.
In her searing memoir, Miré brings a face and a forgiving, inspiring voice to the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM).” More
Miré’s personal, passionate, and persuasive rejection of any cultural defense of female genital mutilation makes compelling reading . . . Her mission of speaking out to end the abuse of girls” is well served by her heartfelt account.”Publishers Weekly
Readers will be caught by the urgency of the contemporary cause, rooted in the anguish of one brave woman.” Booklist
[A] harrowing yet inspiring memoir.” Bust
Stunning and excruciating yet lyrical. . . . Miré feels driven to save a younger generation from the violence that changed her life. This bookI guarantee itwill change yours.” Tobe Levin, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University, and coeditor of Empathy and Rage: Female Genital Mutilation in African Literature
I could not put this book down. . . . Miré is unstoppable. She does not spare anyone: not herself, not her family, not her culture. . . . The book is an ode to female courage and healing against high odds; it is about the high cost of that courage, which includes being ostracized, death-threatened, impoverished, and treated as a crazy’ woman when she is at her sanest and most heroic.”Phyllis Chesler, clinical psychologist, feminist icon, and bestselling author of Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and Mothers on Trial
Quite simply, amazing. Soraya Miré puts a beautiful face on the tragedy of female genital mutilation and chronicles so clearly why we all, women and men alike, need to hold hands and end the mutually destructive practice of FGM.”Marci L. Bowers, MD, gynecology, pelvic and reconstructive surgery, surgical reversion of FGM
I recall how Soraya was attacked inside the UN by male African delegates after testifying about FGM. An arm slashed out past the hand-stitched lapels and elegant garments of other delegates, smacking Soraya’s shoulder. The man’s eyes burned with hate: How dare she testify about FGM! How dare she not!” Wilda Spalding, president, International Human Rights Consortium