Read Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival by Fadumo Korn Tobe Levin Sabine Eichhorst Online


This powerful memoir portrays the life-altering transformation of a feisty nomad girl who undergoes genital excision. Crippled with rheumatism as a result of the cutting, Fadumo Korn, who once freely roamed the deserts of her native Somalia, is sent to live with a wealthy uncle, brother to the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned with political instabThis powerful memoir portrays the life-altering transformation of a feisty nomad girl who undergoes genital excision. Crippled with rheumatism as a result of the cutting, Fadumo Korn, who once freely roamed the deserts of her native Somalia, is sent to live with a wealthy uncle, brother to the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned with political instability and cruelty, but receives an invaluable education. Korn eventually moves to Germany for therapy and recounts her life there—her marriage, the birth of her son, and her involvement in the movement to end genital cutting—with warm and inspiring humor....

Title : Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781558615311
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 186 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival Reviews

  • Jenni
    2018-12-08 01:55

    This was an easy, quick read and a fairly interesting narrative about the author's experiences living in Somalia in a nomadic family and tribe, growing to adulthood among the elite (with her uncle, part of the ruling family at the time), and eventually moving to Europe - three extremely different lives because of her health issues stemming from FGM and the civil war that erupted in Somalia not long after her departure.It was in Europe that the author where she became an advocate against FGM, as it was there that she learned that the custom was considered "mutilation" (a word she fought against) and not practiced in the modern world. On FGM, though, this was not the best written book on the topic - it read in a very juvenile fashion, like a young woman's diary or a memoir geared toward a young adult audience (although to be fair, this may more have to do with the translation of it). The memoir itself really only discussed FGM superficially; the Afterward, written by the translator, contained a lot of useful, practical information on the custom, and for anyone not familiar with FGM it was probably the most interesting part of the book.For better written accounts, I would instead suggest reading Desert Flower by Waris Dirie or (the best I've read on the subject) Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindja.

  • Craig Wilkins
    2018-12-13 20:52

    I'm reading Desert Flower and while the stories are similar in nature, the books couldn't be more different. Fadumo's story is told the way our stories are remembered and passed on, before they get written down and edited and shaped into a story with some sort of linear through line. It reminds me a lot of The Diary of Anne Frank. I feel like I have met a real living human being.As a nice side note, as a Western Liberal I appreciated having her remind me to listen for understanding, and not to listen for ways to rebuke and prove my own Western ideals.

  • Anisa Hajimumin
    2018-12-10 21:07

    It was inspirational, an eye opening, relation to the horrifying events many Somali women went through.

  • Rachel
    2018-12-17 00:02

    With all of the Greeley/Swift/Somalia stuff happening, I would like to learn a little bit more about Somalia and what's happening to people there...

  • Jen
    2018-12-02 22:52

    I had never read any books about FGM before this one; while it dragged a little in some parts, overall an interesting read.

  • Liralen
    2018-12-18 00:46

    In The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles, which I read earlier this year, the author recalls meeting a young girl who had just lost her leg:Marwa looked down at her stump, covered her eyes with both hands, and burst into tears. I realized that this was not just an innocent child coming to terms with the loss of a limb. She had also lost any prospect of a happy marriage one day. In a poorly educated community in Baghdad, there would be no suitors, no falling in love, no netting a nice young husband. If she married at all, it would be either to a much older man looking for a younger second or third wife, or to a cousin who would have to be talked into it as a favor to the family. More likely, she was destined to become an unwanted spinster. Marwa was grieving not only for her leg but for her future. (79)How is this relevant to Born in the Big Rains? Well, in a way Marwa and Fadumo Korn were in similar situations -- the former crippled by war, the latter facing the effects of a botched circumcision. Marwa is only one story of many in The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles, so we don't learn how things turn out for her. Korn, however, had an unexpected resource -- very wealthy and very powerful relatives ready to take her in and, later, seek medical care abroad.Later, when Korn has settled in Germany and married a German, they return to Somalia to visit her family. She asks a relative why he doesn't rebel when the family decides he can't marry the woman he's fallen for."Whatever the family decides, I'll have to accept," Jama answered. "I'm not like you.""What do you mean by that?" I asked."Well..." Jama searched for words. "You've broken the rules. But you're disabled. Everyone's happy that you found a man at all." (136)So in a way this book is about luck -- not always good luck; more like luck of the draw:If she hadn't been born into a nomadic family in a culture that practices female circumcision --If her circumcision hadn't had long-lasting complications --If she hadn't had wealthy, influential relatives --Especially given Somalia's civil war and her family's position, things could have turned out very, very differently for her. It makes for a very complex, nuanced, and often difficult read.

  • Kelly
    2018-11-22 00:55

    Fadumo grew up as a nomad in Somalia, but she ended up married to a West German photographer and became an outspoken activist against female genital mutilation (FGM). Her autobiography traces her life from her childhood through the time of publication. Fadumo, like other Somali women who have written autobiographies recently, is a strong, courageous woman and a talented writer. She started off as a normal nomad child, but after her infibulation (the most severe form of female genital mutilation), she developed complications, including severe arthritis that deformed her hands and feet. Her parents eventually sent her to a wealthier, urban family member for medical care because they were concerned about her physical condition. Fadumo never saw her parents again, but she did receive medical care, eventually ending up in a hospital in Germany, where she made her new home. After she married a German man, Fadumo had to deal with the physical (and mental) effects of her infibulation, an long and emotional process that eventually led her to speak out against FGM.This is a well-written and compelling story, and Fadumo is an inspiration.

  • Anjoli
    2018-12-04 20:55

    A must read for anyone interested in international, cross-cultural medical research and practice. This is a memoir about an anti-FGM activist who was born in Somalia as a nomad, was circumcized, and then had to move to Mogadishu, Italy, and, finally, Germany to receive treatment for the diseases that she developed. Fadumo Korn wrote this memoir, which reads very much like a fast-moving novel, to heighten sensitivity around this issue, and to encourage a hollistic approach to medical practices surrounding cultural differences. I could go on and on, but just read it! It's short and SO worth it. A very important book.

  • Joan
    2018-12-18 00:10

    Told in a simple storyteller fashion, this book brought me along through the world of a nomadic tribe and turned into a definition of gender inequalities and strength. That little girls are mutilated to maintain control over them seems so archaic, and yet it continues. Fadumo Korn is a brave heroine who used her suffering to impact change. It's unthinkable that she had to, and inspiring that she did.

  • Kess
    2018-12-19 01:13

    Excellent account of the practice of female genital mutilation in Africa, specifically Somalia. The account follows Ms. Korn as she connects the dots of her life back to this terrible cultural practice.

  • Holly
    2018-11-19 01:09

    A powerful, yet simply told memoir. Highly recommended for anyone interested in women's health, inter-cultural relations, FGM, or Somalia's history. A great (and fairly quick) read to start the new year.

  • Linda Bentzen
    2018-12-01 00:06

    A memoir of Somalia and survival, the child is a victim of FGM. Things do not go well and she suffers side effects for the rest of her life. Her spirit, virtue, and love for others transform her into a social activist.

  • Katie
    2018-11-27 20:52

    Well-written and interesting look into Somali culture and FGM. Good memoir.

  • Kaylyn
    2018-11-28 19:51

    Remarkable story.

  • Adey Teshome
    2018-11-27 22:11

    One of the first memoirs I read recounting experiences with female genital circumcision. Another read is required :)

  • Mary
    2018-12-09 03:15


  • Hybridmobile
    2018-11-30 02:12

    While the focus is on FGM and the author's personal autobiography, it did give some background into the civil war in Somalia in the 80's/90's.

  • Roman Ginzburg
    2018-12-19 19:06

    Wonderful insite into life in Somalia even if what's revealed isn't too wonderful. Quick read but powerful.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-03 00:51

    A very disturbing book about female mutilation. It was very difficult to read some parts of it. The author is a very strong and brave woman.

  • Anne Paschke
    2018-11-19 19:01

    Powerful, engrossing.

  • Crystal
    2018-11-26 02:58

    This book was very interesting.. I felt horrible for what this woman had to endure!! Definetly a hard life to live... and went through things that no one should have to go through!

  • Joanne
    2018-12-03 00:52

    Interesting memoir. I especially enjoyed the early part about her life as a nomad. I wish there was more on why and how she became an activist since that part seemed rushed at the end.

  • Frances
    2018-12-07 22:47

    Feminist Press book. Memoir by Somalian woman currently living in Germany. Addresses issue of FGM. Insight in to modern Somalian history as she is an extended member of the former ruling family.

  • Karen
    2018-11-21 02:12

    If you are unaware of FGM (female circumcision), then this is a must-read. The memoir is easy to read and moves along quickly. The author's story is both inspiring and educational.