by China Galland ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 13, 1998
One pilgrim's stirring account of anger, activism, and healing in women's lives. Galland has already written of her own spiritual odyssey, fusing the Tibetan Buddhist figure of compassion with the Black Madonna of her own Catholic tradition (Longing for Darkness, 1990). Both of those goddess figures reappear here, but they are secondary to the real, everyday activists Galland encounters in her travels through Asia and Latin America. These are women who have been scarred through horrific events, but who have managed to integrate their anger in the goddess-like attribute of ""fierce compassion."" We meet women activists who are battling the increasing traffic of child prostitution in Nepal and India, where girls as young as six are forced into sexual slavery. Across the world in Argentina, Galland interviews women whose children ""disappeared"" during the repressive military regime of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These women still demonstrate weekly in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, committed to airing the troth of the murders of their loved ones. Other women battle injustice more quietly, but no less dramatically, as with Sister Jessie, who campaigns to increase literacy among poor women and children in India, or an American woman hwo is crusading to de-pollute the sacred Ganges River there. These are unforgettable stories of courage, and Galland recounts them with admiration but also with the complex anger and helplessness she feels in the face of these insurmountable problems. She also personalizes the issues in very heartfelt ways; the horrors of child prostitution are interwoven with Galland's own struggle to confront the man who raped her when she was a child. The book closes with Galland's own nudges toward activism in her community of San Francisco, no longer as just an observer, but a thoughtful participant.
Pub Date: April 13, 1998
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1998
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