Born in the Big Rains

Born in the Big Rains

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Fadumo Korn and Sabine Eichhorst
Fadumo's childhood ends at seven when an "excisor" cuts out her "impurity".

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Paperback Edition
ISBN: 9781558615786
Publication Date: 04-01-2008

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Translated by Tobe Levin
Afterword by Tobe Levin


Fadumo's childhood ends at seven when an "excisor" cuts out her "impurity", i.e., she undergoes FGM. Beset with infections, she moves in with her uncle, brother of Somalia's president. Eventually in Germany, Fadumo builds a new life.

"Korn has authored a moving, unsentimental, and informative account of the painful personal experience that inspired, and continues to fuel her work." People Magazine, Critic's Choice

"This impassioned, beautifully written memoir is a testament to the possibility of wedding literary prose to sophisticated political arguments . . . this is a brutally honest, politically sensitive and bold addition to literature on global women's health."Publishers Weekly

"A UN declaration demands the elimination of FGM. Yet the practice continues because it enforces men's sexual authority but also because women accept it as a cultural marker, a coming of age rite. Fadumo Korn's story limns the interstices of these social and very human contradictions. It is a courageous, deeply sympathetic, and indispensable testament." —Elfriede Jellinek, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature

"What brings truly sustainable change is the courage of individuals like Fadumo Korn to move from survivors to impassioned advocates for justice. This book helps us all to understand how such a transformation is possible." —Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of UNIFEM

"FGM is a trauma as much to the psyche as to the body. This riveting memoir lets readers witness every aspect of a complex and triumphantly successful recovery. Fadumo's past resilience carries over to her inspiring career as a champion of the reproductive rights of girls and women today." —Efua Dorkeeno, founder, FORWARD - International

“Born in the Big Rains begins like a beautifully written work of fiction . . . but the writing’s rich details and driving action belie that this is no tall tale . . . [Korn’s] testament on FGM [is] brave and full of strength.” Feminist Review