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Submitted Literature

Possessing the Secret of Joy

By Alice Walker


The sequel to Walker’s famous “The Color Purple”, this novel explores the life of Tashi, a minor character in Walker’s famed text.  Tashi undergoes a female genital mutilation and scarring ritual before marrying Western Adam and moving to the US.  Her subsequent trauma-response can be neither understood nor treated by Western therapies.

Key Themes:

  • Cultural Psychiatry
  • Diversity and Ethnicity
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Revealing Reads

Significant Quotes / Pages

124 – “I told Raye about my lifelong tendency to escape from reality into the realm of fantasy and storytelling.”

Reference: Alice, Walker. 1992. Possessing the Secret of Joy. London: Vintage, 1993


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009