From the author the Washington Post calls “a writer of bold artistry,” this is the searing story of Tashi, a tribal African woman first glimpsed in The Color Purple, whose memory of her sister’s early death and whose fateful decision to submit to the tsunga’s knife and be genitally mutilated forever alter her existence.  Narrated through an evocative chorus of voices, Possessing the Secret of Joy follows Tashi’s struggle to understand the forces of oppression that lead to her trauma, to access her own painful past (even seeking treatment from Carl Jung), and, eventually, to discover the secret of joy.

Possessing the Secret of Joy was the first novel to deal with this controversial topic and does so in a manner that Cosmopolitan called “masterful, honorable, and unforgettable storytelling.’  The New Press is proud to bring the book back into print with a new preface by the author addressing the book’s initial reception, and the changed attitudes toward female genital mutilation that have come about in part because of this important novel.

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