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At school, Leila and her best friend Amal are called 'daughters of sin'. Her pretty sister, Zulima, Growing Up an Outcast in the Desert of Sudan. Leila understands from early on that she is not part of normal Sudanese society. Her pretty sister, Zulima, is married off to a much older man, while the nannies say an abandoned girl is lucky to get an offer of marriage at all.

Her "sister" Amal was never far from her side. Her many "nannies" and "mamas" cooked her favorite meals, taught her useful life skills, and most importantly took care of her. Unfortunately traditional Muslim society continued to dictate many aspects of her life though, such as her carers arranging for her "purification",stifling her naturally tomboyish demeanor by forcing her to stop wearing shorts while she is still only a child what kind of sick pervert is staring at the legs of a 9 year old child that she should be completely covered up?!?

Despite the efforts to make her a not only good but exemplary Muslim girl, Leila continues to live in fear and shame after she leaves the orphanage for an ultimately doomed marriage, that she will never be accepted or redeemed, but after many years later that is precisely what happens in a most unexpected way to bring her life fullcircle. This is truly an amazing book.

May 23, Enya-Marie rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is astonishingly powerful in its simplicity and was really thought-provoking in terms of what one considers a 'normal' way of living. There were so many aspects to Sudanese life and culture that I'd never heard of or fundamentally disagreed with yet, from the point of view of an inside perspective, were understandable given the context.

This book is very hard-hitting and not something to be read lightly despite it's simple language. Leila's confusion about the bigger picture surrounding This book is astonishingly powerful in its simplicity and was really thought-provoking in terms of what one considers a 'normal' way of living.

Daughter of Dust: Growing Up an Outcast in the Desert of Sudan - Wendy Wallace - Google Книги

Leila's confusion about the bigger picture surrounding the events going on around her when she is a child adds to the story all the more as we begin to understand her world alongside her. The only criticism I'd really have with this book is how the timing is spread out, there seemed to be huge jumps in time that weren't made clear or there would be a section focused on a seemingly unimportant anecdote that just didn't seem to mesh right with the overall book.

What would also improve it would be some information on the Sunrise charity and suggestions for further reading about the Sunrise's work, the situation of orphans in Sudan currently, information about the life and rights of women in Sudan since these were very prominent issues in the text.


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I'd definitely read this again and recommend it to others as an inspiring story about survival, hardship and hope. Also, if anyone has more information or can provide me with the right place to look for it, I'd like to know more about the marriage customs mentioned in the book as well as the 'female circumcision' and the cultural reasons behind it. For instance, it was mentioned that the women were 'stitched up' after birth - is this as literal as it suggests? Are they cut open every time they have sex?

Growing up an Outcast in the Desert of Sudan

I'll have to search for more literature on this! Nov 07, Kate Mayfield rated it it was amazing. The story of Leila, the courageous and spirited survivor of the most devastating prejudice, is very moving and powerful. The amazing detail that the author conjures in the telling is remarkable.

Daughter of Dust: Growing up an Outcast in the Desert of Sudan

I was so engrossed while reading that I suddenly realized, quite unexpectedly, that the book is a page tuner. The cultural aspects of "Daughter of Dust" are informative and beautifully woven into the main narrative. The harrowing details are not at all gratuitous, and they so easily could be. The reader i The story of Leila, the courageous and spirited survivor of the most devastating prejudice, is very moving and powerful. The reader is sure to relate to the universal themes of belonging, home, unbelievable hardship, and family, even while marvelling at the stark differences in the Sudanese culture.

Through Wendy Wallace's brilliant prose I gleaned a greater understanding of a woman, a culture, and a country. What a rich a book this is. It was a bit dry in the beginning where there is a lot of thinbgs that Leila didn't know. Reminds me of myself when I was less than10 yrs old.


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  5. Guess their side of the world practice the same thing children are to be look after instead of listening to. I think it would have been a great help if her sister could have fill in the blanks on the part of their life when they were younger.

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    The flow of the memoir gets better when Leila reach maturity. Things were described more vividly. I hope after writi It was a bit dry in the beginning where there is a lot of thinbgs that Leila didn't know. I hope after writing of this book, things would go more smoothly for Leila Non mi ha emozionato come pensavo. Ho "rivisto" con piacere alcuni posti che ho visitato ma la storia seppur con dei distinguo non mi ha coinvolto.

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