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Topic: looking for... historical fiction set in Africa

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Subject: looking for... historical fiction set in Africa
Date Posted: 10/3/2007 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 2
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I read a wonderful book several years ago that traced the life of a young African woman who revisits the country of her birth. During her journey back to her homeland the book traces her family and cultural traditions. One of the interesting aspects of this fictional work is the author's insight into the mutilation of young girls' genitalia. I know the author wrote two books but cannot remember the title or author's name.

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Peggy

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Maybe not historical, but could this be Alice Walker's "Possessing the Secret of Joy"?

 

"Here and there tantalizing remnants of the writing that made The Color Purple such a critical success, but for the most part Walker's latest is held hostage to an agenda--the eradication of female circumcision in Africa and the Middle East--a cause to which she will be contributing a portion of the royalties. A range of voices, including husband Adam, son Benny, and the character Tashi herself, tell the story of the Olinka girl who made a brief appearance in The Color Purple. Married to Adam, the young African-American missionary who took her back to the US, Tashi has suffered intermittent periods of madness since she was brutally circumcised as an adolescent in a remote guerrilla camp in Africa. It's a madness that has required hospitalization and treatment by a range of analysts, including the great Jung, who puts in a cameo appearance here. Though her older sister had bled to death from the effects of the operation, Tashi chose to have it done because she felt it would make her ``...completely woman. Completely Africa. Completely Olinka.'' The operation also was responsible for a difficult delivery in which her son Benny was brain-damaged. Helped by therapy, her grief turns to anger: she returns to Africa and murders the old woman who performed the operation. Sentenced to death, Tashi, who feels neither guilt nor fear of death, is finally at peace because an anthropologist tells her about the mythic causes of the practice: the early African woman, ``the mother of womankind,'' was ``notoriously free'' of both sexual guilt and circumcision; invading tribes and Arabs were responsible for its imposition. Dying, Tashi finally possesses the ``secret of joy'': the resistance to what is evil. A pastiche of New Age mysticism, dubious history, and feminist ideology tied to a storyline that points a moral, heavily underlined, rather than one that grows out of a tale." -- Kirkus Reviews

 

--Catt

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 2
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No, that isn't it but thanks for your input! I believe the title had the world "green" in it. It is so frustrating because the book was really, really good and would love to read it again. Oh well....

Peggy

Date Posted: 10/10/2007 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Love in the Driest Season?

Date Posted: 10/10/2007 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 859
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I think the book is Green City in the Sun by Barbara Wood.  It was an excellent book as are most of her novels.  Try some of her others like Soul Flame, Domina, The Blessing Stone.

Pam

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Good job Pma, that sounds like what she's looking for!

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Good Job Pam.I going to check that book out.
Date Posted: 11/10/2007 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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That does sound like a good read. I need to make some room on my wishlist for it!

I read a book a few weeks ago that you might enjoy - A Blade of Grass by Lewis DeSoto. The story takes place in the 70's, so it's not HF, but it was still a great book.

Another one that I enjoyed was - Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King. This one is about sailors whose ship was wrecked off the coast of Africa. They made it to shore, but had a terrible journey across Africa. They suffered through just about every trial and tribulation known to man - starvation, murder, encounters with hostile tribes, sandstorms, and even a plague of locusts!! This one is set in the early 1800's. It was really, really good!