Possessing the Secret of Joy is an unflinching examination of the psychologically and physically debilitating practice of female circumcision in Africa. The novel follows Tashi, an African woman who decides to undergo female circumcision as an adult even though she is haunted by the memories of her sister's death as a result of a botched circumcision. It may appear at first blush that Tashi has a choice in the matter; however, we soon realize that in order to be an accepted member of society she must subject herself to the mutilation or risk becoming a social pariah. Although a work of fiction, Walker does an outstanding job in portraying the life altering implications of such a gruesome practice.
Leatherby Libraries Call Number: PS3573.A425 P67 1997
2nd Floor Humanities Library
Review submitted by: Ashley Bloomfield, Program Assistant, Rodgers Center
Rating: Highly Recommended