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How to Say Babylon: A Memoir

por Safiya Sinclair

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
27020100,487 (4.38)43
Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair's father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman's highest virtue was her obedience. In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya's mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father's beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya's voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porJFBCore, redrose, kstukus, biblioteca privada, LRUVA, calvson, mjannicelli88, daisilla
  1. 00
    A Small Place por Jamaica Kincaid (susanbooks)
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    Bread Givers por Anzia Yezierska (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Both books about girls growing into young women in the homes of religious patriarchs
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Beautifully written memoir of a Rastafarian daughter with a tumultuous and conflictive upbringing. ( )
  daisilla | Jul 7, 2024 |
This a beautiful, disturbing memoir of a young Jamaican woman raised in a strict Rastafari family. Sinclair writes the story of her parents' abusive marriage and the way her father controlled and isolated their family. Sinclair turns to writing and poetry, with much success.

Sinclair writes beautifully. This memoir has a poetic flow without feeling overdone or pretentious. The subject matter, though, is hard to read. I had to take lots of breaks or the abuse - both physical and emotional - that the family sustains from the father were too much for me.

I do highly recommend this memoir, but be warned that it is brutally honest and she doesn't hold back from describing the abuse and how she and her family suffered from it. It's not all doom and gloom, but she's had a lot to overcome. And because she's still young, it's not a completed story. It ends on a relatively hopeful note, but she will obviously still have a lot to heal from. ( )
  japaul22 | May 23, 2024 |
Maybe I'm a terrible person, but I didn't love this memoir. I didn't dislike it either. I found the narrative compelling and enjoyed the prose. But I just found it long. I had to really force myself to keep reading at times. A good memoir should be hard to put down. While I felt for the author, this book just dragged. ( )
  lemontwist | May 12, 2024 |
One of the best memoirs I've read. You feel very present throughout each step of her life, and though her life is vastly different from mine it was very relatable. High control religions that oppress women are everywhere, always just a different flavor of the same thing. The men are in control and the women must submit. I found it interesting how long she stayed with her family while clearly deconstructing her upbringing, that was both a strange choice and a brave one. You can certainly tell she is a poet from this as well, and I am learning to enjoy the prose of poets more and more. ( )
  KallieGrace | May 8, 2024 |
This was moving, raw, painful, and ultimately so redemptive and beautiful as we see love survive in the most hostile of conditions. Orthodox forms of almost every religion turn women into slaves. and Rastafari is no different. For a movement based on the rejection of colonial enslavement, it is a bit surprising that half the population so comfortably consigns the other half to a life of slavery for their pleasure. Thankfully Safiya Sinclair broke those bonds and soared and shared her family's story in the most beautiful prose imaginable. I feel grateful to have read this. ( )
  Narshkite | May 1, 2024 |
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Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair's father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman's highest virtue was her obedience. In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya's mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father's beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya's voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.

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