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When Soraya Miré was thirteen years old, the girls on the playground would taunt her, saying she could not play with them—not as long as she walked with three legs. Confused and hurt, she went to her mother, who mysteriously responded that the time had come for Soraya to receive her gift. Miré too soon discovers the horror of the “gift,” female genital mutilation (FGM), whereby a young girl’s healthy organs are chopped off not only to make her acceptable to a future husband but also to rein in her “wildness.”

In The Girl with Three Legs, Soraya Miré reveals what it means to grow up in a traditional Somali family, where girls’ and women’s basic human rights are violated on a daily basis. A victim of FGM and an arranged marriage to an abusive cousin, Miré was also witness to the instability of Somalia’s political landscape: her father was a general for the military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, and her family moved in the inner circles of Somalia’s elite. In her journey to recover from the violence done to her, Miré realizes FGM is the ultimate child abuse, a ritual of mutilation handed down from mother to daughter and protected by the word “culture.”

Miré’s tale is a dramatic chronicle of the personal challenges she overcame, a testament to the empowerment of women, and a firsthand account of the violent global oppression of women and girls. Despite the horror she experienced, her words resonate with hope, humanity, and dignity. Her life story is one of inspiration and redemption.

The recipient of Human Rights Award at the United Nations. Soraya Miré is a human rights activist, a filmmaker, and a spokesperson against female genital mutilation. She wrote, directed, and produced the film Fire Eyes, the definitive film on FGM. Miré appeared in The Vagina Monologues in London, on Broadway, in Madison Square Garden, and in Los Angeles; she has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Nightline, and other programs; and articles about her have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Essence. She lives in Los Angeles.

“Stunning and excruciating yet lyrical . . . Miré’s witnessing sets the gold standard for testimony on an issue most of us lack the courage to face. And she does it not because she wants to but because she feels driven to save a younger generation from the violence that changed her life. This book—I guarantee it—will change yours.” —Tobe Levin, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

“I could not put this book down. . . . Miré is unstoppable. She does not spare anyone: not herself, not her family, not her culture. . . . The book is an ode to female courage and healing against high odds; it is about the high cost of that courage, which includes being ostracized, death-threatened, impoverished, and treated as a ‘crazy’ woman when she is at her sanest and most heroic.” —Phyllis Chesler, clinical psychologist, feminist icon, and bestselling author of Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and Mothers on Trial

“Quite simply, amazing. Soraya Miré puts a beautiful face on the tragedy of female genital mutilation and chronicles so clearly why we all, women and men alike, need to hold hands and end the mutually destructive practice of FGM.” —Marci Bowers, MD, specializing in surgical reversal of FGM

1) Soraya Mire's The Girl With Three Legs (978-1-56976-713-9, October 2011) was named to the 2012 Amelia Bloomer Project List. From the press release: The Amelia Bloomer Project, a product of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table’s (SRRT) Feminist Taskforce, announced the 2012 Amelia Bloomer List at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, held Jan. 20-23, 2012.
The bibliography consists of well written and illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers from birth to 18 years old. This year’s list includes 78 titles published between July 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011.
Named for Amelia Bloomer, a pioneering 19th century newspaper editor, feminist thinker, public speaker and suffragist, the list features books about girls and women that spur the imagination while confronting traditional female stereotypes.
The bibliography is intended to aid children and teens in selecting high-quality books released over the past 18 months and may be used for a recommended reading list for youth and those who interact with them and as a collection development or reader’s advisory tool for interested librarians.

2) Back in 2011 Publishers Weekly released Fall books to watch out and named top 10 Social Science books- The top three fascinating books are Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry, The Conflict by Elisabeth Badinter and The Girl with Three Legs by Soraya Mire’. Below is the full top 10 Social Science books…please read.

Publishers Weekly Announcements: Social Science: Young Americans

By Andrew Richard Albanese

As the 2012 presidential campaign begins, it's clear that, for all the talk about fiscal issues, the so-called "culture wars" will figure prominently in selecting who will run—and how they will run—against Barack Obama next November. This season's social science books examine deeply topics of conversation that will soon be bandied about loosely on talk radio, cutting to the core of who we are as Americans, with an especially strong focus on generational issues.

The state of women is examined in a trio of fascinating books, led by Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Perry, a frequent contributor on MSNBC these days, whose Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America delves into the most persistent stereotypes black women encounter in contemporary American life. Already a #1 bestseller in many countries overseas, The Conflict by renowned French intellectual Elisabeth Badinter offers a penetrating assessment and critique of modern motherhood. And The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir by Soraya Miré, is an eye-opening psychological treatise on "betrayal, feminism, and sexuality," which addresses the ordeal of ritual female genital cutting.

The health of our cities and the blight of gun violence is front and center in two books this season. In Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, David M. Kennedy, who has been profiled in the New Yorker and featured on 60 Minutes, tells the story of his astonishingly effective crusade to deter violence in communities across the nation. In The City That Became Safe: New York's Lessons for American Crime Control, Franklin E. Zimring uses the example of New York City to challenge prevailing assumptions about our nation's crime and drug control policies.

PW's Top 10 Social Science Books are:

Where We Stand
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Nation Books, Nov.

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
Melissa Harris-Perry. Yale Univ. Press, Sept.

The Conflict
Elisabeth Badinter. Metropolitan Books, Jan.

The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir
Soraya Miré. Lawrence Hill Books, Oct.

The New Kids:
Big Dreams, Brave Journeys-Immigrant Teens Coming of Age in the U.S.A.
Brooke Hauser. Free Press, Sept.

In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age
Patricia Cohen. Scribner, Jan.

Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America
David M. Kennedy. Bloomsbury, Sept.

The City That Became Safe: New York's Lessons for American Crime Control
Franklin E. Zimring. Oxford, Sept.

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit
Joseph Epstein. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov.

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution
Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum. Penguin Group/Dutton, Oct.

On the generational front, The New Kids: Big Dreams, Brave Journeys: Immigrant Teens Coming of Age in the U.S.A. by Brooke Hauser chronicles a year in the life of a diverse group of high school seniors, all recent immigrants for whom English is a second language, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. On the other end of the spectrum, New York Times reporter and editor Patricia Cohen takes a probing look at our perceptions of later adult life in In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.

And last but not least, pop culture takes center stage. In Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit, essayist Joseph Epstein offers an incisive exploration of our gossip-driven media, from celebrity rumors to political slander. And in the bestselling tradition of Live from New York and Please Kill Me comes the first-ever oral history of MTV, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, an entertaining and insightful look at the groundbreaking network's first decade, just in time for the MTV's 30th anniversary.

Book Details:

Title: The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir
Author: Soraya Miré; Foreword by Eve Ensler
Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, Distributed by Independent Publishers Group
Publication: October 2011, $26.95 (CAN $28.95), Cloth, ISBN: 9781569767139
Biography/African Studies/Women’s Studies, 384 pages, 6 x 9, 18 B&W photographs

Author interview available by request – please contact: Kathryn Tumen,
We would appreciate receiving a copy or tear sheet of any review or mention that you may publish.

Available at bookstores everywhere and through Independent Publishers Group,
814 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610. Toll-free number for orders only:
1-800-888-4741. Visit us online at
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