No Condition is Permanent, Issue 2000

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Philomel Books, 2000 - Female circumcision - 183 pages
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Promise me, Jodie . . . you'll stay far far away from the Sande. It's taboo. Like I said, you're not only not welcome there -- you are forbidden.

When Jodie's mother decides they are moving to Sierre Leone, Jodie feels as if her entire world is falling apart. Africa is so far away -- with such strange customs and an entirely different language. How can she possibly make any friends?

But in this new place, Jodie meets Khadi, a village girl. From the moment they meet, the two are inseparable -- working in the rice fields together, sharing their thoughts. Everything seems perfect to Jodie until strange things begin to happen. Most mysterious, Khadi and the other village girls begin to disappear daily. "It's Sande, Jodie. Stay away from it", her mother warns her. But Jodie wonders what this Sande -- this Secret Society -- is all about. Why is it so secret? For Khadi's sake, didn't she have to find out?

In an unforgettable novel that teems with authentic details of African culture and life, Cristina Kessler gracefully and heroically tackles one of the most important, most controversial issues for women of our time.

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