The Story of a Somali Girl by Aman as told to Virginia Lee Barnes and Janice Boddy
Introduction of the Book
"Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl" is the autobiography of a young Somali girl who endured many hardships during her early ages. The book was published in Canada in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf Canada. Introduction of the Author
The story was written by Virginia Lee Barnes, who died before it was published, so it then became a collaborative work with Janice Boddy finishing up the manuscript. Summary
This book is an excellent look into the Somali culture of the 1960s, the love and pain, seen through the eyes of a young, rebellious girl, named Aman and how she fits into this culture. She spends the majority of the book trying to explain the rules and traditions of the Somalians and how important they are, even she goes against them. Body of Review
The first few chapters of the book were some background information and setting the story. Aman lived with her mom, most of the time in poorness, but always having her love and support. For that reason, Aman loved her mom more than anything and she did whatever she could to provide for her.
One of the most important events in Aman’s life, also for all young Somali girls, was when she was being circumcised at age 9. When Aman was 11 years old, she fell in love with an Italian boy. This was a big disgrace to his and her families, because of the different skin colour and religion, and their romance finished soon enough when the boy was forced to move back to Italy. The lost of her first love, pushed her to make a number of wrong decisions.
At age 13, Aman got married to an old man, who she hated, but who paid a lot of money for having her as a wife. When he attempted to disvirgined her by cutting her with a knife, Aman ran away from him and moved to Mogadishu – the capital of Somalia. There she met new friends, dated numerous men, partied and went to clubs. She was a beautiful girl and used her beauty and sexuality to get money from men.