Possessing the Secret of Joy

Jonathan Cape

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When I was little I used to stroke myself, which was taboo. And then, when I was older, and before we married, Adam and I used to make love in the fields. Which was also taboo. Doing it in the fields, I mean. And because we practiced cunnilingus.

Did you experience orgasm?


And yet you willingly gave this up in order to... Raye was frowning in disbelief.

I completed the sentence for her: To be accepted as a real woman by the Olinka people; to stop the jeering. Otherwise I was a thing.

Possessing the Secret of Joy is the story of Tashi, an African tribal woman. Told in Tashi's voice and the voices of the people who knew and loved her, it is the shattering account of a young girl whose decision to go through the female initiation ceremony has terrible and tragic consequences.

Alice Walker says about this book,

'When I finished The Color Purple and realized that Tashi, a minor character I had created in that book, had left Africa but had taken her wound with her to America, I understood it was my duty as an American woman and a human being to stay with her.'

With this novel Alice Walker takes on a subject of profound importance to millions of women and men throughout the world, and does so with integrity and grace.


Condition: Pre-loved book. First edition. Minor yellowing of pages. Otherwise in good condition.

Format: Hardcover
Year published: 1992

Pages: 270
Historical fiction; literary fiction.
Imprint: Jonathan Cape

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