Lisa James's Reviews > Possessing the Secret of Joy

Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
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Sep 01, 2011

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bookshelves: banned-books, 1001-books-list
Read from September 01 to 02, 2011

This book was written in the same style as The Color Purple, with each section being written by a different character. I enjoyed that aspect, because it gives each one a voice of their own, & a unique perspective on the events in the book. This book centers on Tashi, also called Evelyn, who married Adam, & was briefly seen in The Color Purple. It centers around the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation, or, female circumcision, which Tashi had done, & which killed her sister Dura. It drove Tashi insane, & once she & Adam returned to America, she was in & out of Waverly Asylum. On her return to Africa, she searches out M'Lissa, the "tsunga", or female witch doctor, who was also the tribe midwife & delivered Tashi when she was a newborn. When M'Lissa is found dead, Tashi goes on trial for it. The story is sad, and gives graphic details on what is done to these poor girls over there, & how. It also touches on an interesting theory of how AIDS came to be the epidemic it is in Africa, which is the introduction of a contaminated batch of smallpox vaccine, since Adam is a doctor.

All in all, a powerful, haunting story.

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09/01/2011 page 93

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