From Publishers Weekly
Writing with BBC correspondent Lewis (Slave
), Bashir, a physician and refugee living in London, offers a vivid personal portrait of life in the Darfur region of Sudan before the catastrophe. Doted on by her father, who bucked tradition to give his daughter an education, and feisty grandmother, who bequeathed a fierce independence, Bashir grew up in the vibrant culture of a close-knit Darfur village. (Its darker side emerges in her horrific account of undergoing a clitoridectomy at age eight.) She anticipated a bright future after medical school, but tensions between Sudan's Arab-dominated Islamist dictatorship and black African communities like her Zaghawa tribe finally exploded into conflict. The violence the author recounts is harrowing: the outspoken Bashir endured brutal gang-rapes by government soldiers, and her village was wiped out by marauding Arab horsemen and helicopter gunships. This is a vehement cri de coeur—I wanted to fight and kill every Arab, to slaughter them, to drive them out of the country, the author thought upon treating girls who had been raped and mutilated—but in showing what she suffered, and lost, Bashir makes it resonate. (Sept.)
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This is a brave book ... [Halima] leaves us with hope and awe in the face of her courage. Mia Farrow 'The genocide in Darfur has found its Anne Frank ... TEARS OF THE DESERT is a searingly frank testimonial of a war crime that deserves all our attention.' Tim Butcher, author of Blood River vivid, poignant and brutally candid Washington Post A harrowing and beautifully written tale of a rich life, untold suffering and impossible hope told from the heart of a fellow African sister. Mende Nazer, author of Slave and Freedom This memoir helps keep the Darfur tragedy open as a wound not yet healed. Elie Wiesel A rare glimpse behind the statistics into the personal horror of Darfur. TV news too easily turns the whole nation into anonymous victims; Damien and Halima remind us they are people. David Loyn, BBC Foreign Correspondent Halima's story is fantastic and exhausting ... I can see and hear and feel the people and places she describes. Lisa Blaker, author of Heart of Darfur Halima Bashir has bared her soul to help stop the bleeding of her people in Darfur. Attention must be paid. John Prendergast, co-chair of the ENOUGH Project and co-author of Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
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