I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Nujood Ali, with Delphine Minoui. . Three Rivers, $12 (188pp) ISBN 978-0-307-58967-5
Headlines traveled around the globe in the spring of 2008 when the barely 10-year-old Nujood Ali “found the courage to knock on the [Yemen] courtroom door”; she had come seeking a divorce from the sexually abusive and violent 30-ish man, a marriage arranged by her father. French journalist Minoui renders Ali's life from the young child's perspective without sensationalism, as respectful of Ali's faith as affected by her courage. Through her unwavering focus on Ali's young life and her big victory, on her pre-pubescent innocence and ignorance, the reader is taken inside one poor, recently rural Yemeni household. As Ali's life (“I have always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers”) moves into the public sphere, she discovers (fortunately) the compassionate judges and the dedicated lawyer of a more urbane Yemen. Simple and straightforward in its telling, this is an informative and thoroughly engaging narrative—making more painful a disquieting sense as the book ends that Ali's big victory offers the promise of change to other young girls but no true restoration of her girlhood; she's about 12 now.
Reviewed on: 02/01/2010
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-71257-8
Prebound-Glued - 188 pages - 978-1-60686-740-2