Aman by Virginia Lee Barnes
The Story of a Somali Girl (Vintage)

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This is the extraordinary first-person account of a young woman's coming of age in Somalia and her struggles against the obligations and strictures of family and society.  By the time she is nine, Aman has undergone a ritual circumcision ceremony; at eleven, her innocent romance with a white boy leads to a murder; at thirteen she is given away in an arranged marriage to a stranger.  Aman eventually runs away to Mogadishu, where her beauty and rebellious spirit leads her to the decadent demimonde of white colonialists.  Hers is a world in which women are both chattel and freewheeling entrepreneurs, subject to the caprices of male relatives, yet keenly aware of the loopholes that lead to freedom.  Aman is an astonishing history, opening a window onto traditional Somali life and the universal quest for female self-awareness.  

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Virginia Lee Barnes

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Aman's story was originally compiled by Virginia Lee Barnes, an anthropologist (Ph.D., University of Hawaii), and upon her death in 1989, the manuscript was completed by Janice Boddy, distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto, who added an introduction placing Aman's story in its proper historical and social context.
Published March 24, 2010 by Vintage. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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 A lyrical first-hand account of a complex and charismatic modern-day African heroine. ``Aman'' (a pseudonym meaning ``trustworthy'' in Arabic) is a gifted narrator who recounted her tumultuous life first to anthropologist Barnes, who died in 1990 before the project was completed, and then to Ba...

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Aman: The Story of a Somali G...

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