The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness
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|Format:||Paperback, 240 pages|
|Other Information: ||Illustrated|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 March 2011|
Dramatic, humorous, and uplifting, this international bestseller offers a self-portrait of a courageous woman whose spirit is as breathtaking as her beauty. "From the deserts of Somalia to the world of high fashion, (Dirie) battles oppression and emerges a real champion."--Elton John. of photos.
As a special ambassador to the United Nations, Somalian supermodel Dirie speaks out against the custom of genital mutilation, a "barbaric rite" that she underwent at age five. In this memoir, she "provides a fascinating glimpse of her separate lives‘camel herder, supermodel, human rights activist‘and manages to weave threads of drama, humor, and courage into each." (LJ 11/1/98)
This frank autobiography's subtitle, My Amazing Journey from Desert Nomad to Supermodel to UN Special Ambassador, sums it up succinctly. Though written in a very simple narrative style not destined for literary awards, Dirie's story is truly an astounding one which I read in one sitting. Raised in the Somali desert, Dirie spent her childhood herding goats and camels. When her uncle became ambassador to Britain, the teenager went to work for his family in London as a maid. One would be hard-pressed to think of a more extreme culture shock than that experienced by this illiterate barefoot who had never before seen white people, cutlery or used a flushing toilet. But it is Dirie's openness in describing her circumcision with a used razor blade at the age of five and its subsequent effect on her life that brings tears to the eyes with its sheer horror. After her `discovery' and rise to supermodel status, Dirie now travels the world speaking out against female genital mutilation. Desert Flower (the meaning of Waris' name) is by no means a vapid supermodel expose. It is an inspiring and stunning story of a culture totally alien to the Western world, of family, of growth and of one woman's unrelenting determination to succeed. Scott Whitmont is manager of Lindfield Bookshop, Lindfield (NSW). C. 1998 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
Joining the current rage for model memoirs (see review above) is Dirie, a native of Somalia, who has for more than a decade stalked the world's catwalks and appeared in numerous glossy magazines. This, however, is no fluff-job dictated into a tape recorder on transatlantic flights, then recomposed by a hired gun back in New York. Rather, it is a striking account of a personal odyssey that began in the Somali desert, where Dirie grew up without shoes, living amid nomadic tribes and tyrannized by patriarchal strictures. As a pubescent girl, Dirie was circumcised‘a procedure described here in chilling detail‘before escaping an arranged marriage to stay with an aunt in Mogadishu. Landing a job as a house servant in London, Dirie struggled to launch a modeling career while dodging British immigration authorities and the dreadful results of marriages of convenience. At the end of this affecting and at times very entertaining book, Dirie's metamorphosis from desert nomad into jetsetting nomad culminates in a post as a human rights ambassador to the UN, where, these days, Dirie campaigns for the eradication of female circumcision and women's rights around the globe. It's easy to forget that Dirie's memoir is a book about someone whose success has come from posing for the camera. Indeed, it is Dirie's remarkable lack of narcissism or entitlement that makes her so captivating a raconteur. Photos. Editor: Billy Kelly; agent: Christie Fletcher/Carol Mann Agency; author tour. (Sept.) FYI: Foreign rights have sold in 10 countries.
|Publisher: ||William Morrow & Company|
|Dimensions: ||23.42 x 15.27 x 1.63 centimeters (0.29 kg)|