"An Absolute Must-Read"
The London School of Economics and Political Science featured a glowing review of Mirka Prazak's Making the Mark on their blog.
The reviewer, who wrote her PhD thesis on the subject, highly recommends Prazak's book as essential for the study of the practice of female genital cutting. She writes: "This ethnographic study is an absolute must-read for those who wish to gain an understanding in the complexities of genital cutting in the social, political, and cultural life of Kuria people in Kenya."
The review especially praised Prazak's inclusive focus and careful attention to maintaining objectivity. "In the whole book, the author does not defend or absolve genital cutting; rather, she focuses on bringing to the forefront the views and voices of the Kuria community she studies."
What makes this book unique is the honest account of Prazak’s experiences and the rich ‘mosaic of perspectives’ that provided the basis for her work. She gives voice not only to Kuria initiates (both girls and boys) who have undergone genital cutting, but also includes the perspective of cutters, parents, observers and critics, local activists and leaders spearheading opposition to female genital cutting, and of course also her own perspective.
In Making the Mark, Prazak examines the question of how circumcision affects the rights of girls in a culture where initiation forms the lynchpin of the ritual cycle at the core of defining gender, identity, and social and political status. The ethnography explores the complexities of genital cutting in the social, political, and cultural life of Kuria people in rural Kenya. It was published by Ohio University Press in September, 2016.