Desert Flower

Desert Flower

Paperback Virago Press

By (author) Waris Dirie

List price $12.55

Unavailable - AbeBooks may have this title.

Additional formats available

Format
Paperback $10.48
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 104mm x 173mm x 30mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 1 April 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1860497497
  • ISBN 13: 9781860497490
  • Illustrations note: Section: 8, B&W
  • Sales rank: 49,797

Product description

Waris Dirie (the name means desert flower) lives a double life - by day she is a famous model and UN spokeswoman on women's rights in Africa, at night she dreams of her native Somalia. Waris, one of 12 children, was born into a traditional family of desert nomads in East Africa. She remembers her early childhood as carefree- racing camels and moving on with her family to the next grazing spot - until it came her turn to meet the old woman who administered the ancient custom imposed on most Somalian girls: circumcision. Waris suffered this torture when she was just five years old. Then, aged 12, when her father attempted to arrange a marriage with a 60 year old stranger in exchange for five camels - she took flight. After an extraordinary escape through the dangerous desert she made her way to London and worked as a maid for the Somalian ambassador until that family returned home. Penniless and speaking little English, she became a janitor in McDonalds where she was famously discovered by a fashion photographer. Her story is a truly inspirational and extraordinary self-portrait of a remarkable woman whose spirit is as breathtaking as her beauty.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Waris Dirie is an internationally renowned model and face of Revlon skincare products. She was appointed by the United Nations in 1997 as a special ambassador for women's rights to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation. She lives in New York with her boyfriend and their son.

Review quote

'Waris's story is one of remarkable courage. From the deserts of Somalia to the world of high fashion ... she emerges a real champion. She is the most beautiful inspiration to anyone' ELTON JOHN 'A story that traverses continents, spans worlds of human experience and human pain ... Waris Dirie was a victim once, but she never will be again' EXPRESS 'She was circumcised at five, fled an arranged marriage at 12, then became a Pirelli girl in her teens. Now, at twenty-eight, Waris Dirie is an ambassador for the UN. Her mission? To rid Africa of its most barbaric ritual' OBSERVER 'Dirie's story is an extraordinary one.' SUNDAY TIMES 'A mettlesome, contemporary Cindereall, her voice is as entertaining as it is inspiring.' THE TIMES 'This story will make you weep for what people are capable of doing to their children and fill you with admiration for one woman's strength.' IRISH NEWS 'Waris Dirie's story puts "rags to riches" to shame. The "Desert Flower" started life as one of 12 children of a Somali nomad family, a people with no written culture, where the basic unit of currency is the camel. Faced at 12 with the prospect of marriage to a 60-year-old man she didn't know, she broke all the rules and ran away, surviving a traumatic trek across the desert to end up in London, as a maid to the Somalian Ambassador. It was in McDonalds that her striking beauty was "discovered", leading to a career in modelling and another as an ardent campaigner against female genital mutilation (circumcision). As a novel it would be unbelievable, as Waris survives circumcision, rape, arranged marriage, a lion attack--you name it, she's lived through it. But the book is remarkable less for its deliberately dramatic set pieces, and more for its haunting evocation of the little-told life of Somalian nomads, seen from a child's telling perspective, where life centres on the beloved camels, the horrors of womanhood are still an exciting mystery, and the nights are filled with the smell of frankincense. Desert Flower is a recollection of such gentle beauty that "rags to riches" seems hardly appropriate.' - Alan Stewart, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW