Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Innocence lost

I've been waiting for Somaly Mam's memoir to be published in English for ages and I see its due out, through Virago Press on 17 January in the UK, priced at £12.99. However, its already in the bookshops in Australia and I need to get my copy as soon as possible - as it's required reading. Published in French at least a couple of years ago, The Road of Lost Innocence tells the story of Somaly Mam, who was abandoned as a baby and looked after by her grandmother until she disappeared. She was then taken into the care of a man she called 'grandfather', but was treated no better than an unpaid servant. Raped at twelve, Somaly was forced to marry at fifteen and then sold to a brothel. She endured years of abuse before managing to escape. Her memoir is a moving account of a traumatic childhood and also the inspirational story of a determined and courageous woman devoted to helping other girls caught up in the illegal sex trade in Cambodia. In 1997 Somaly Mam co-founded AFESIP to combat trafficking in women and children for sexual slavery. You can read more about Somaly's crusade here.

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