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Book Corner February 2012

 

Walk Across the Sun

by Corban Addision. New York: SilverOakBooks. 2012. Pp. 371.

 

Reviewed by Susan Hedahl            

Recently I was invited to contribute an essay to The Huffington Post on the lectionary text of the infant Jesus’ presentation [bris] at the temple.  I placed that text in dialogue with the topic of human trafficking.  Odyssey Network of New York contributed a stunning video as part of the essay, which includes a look at the on-going work of groups like “Groundswell” which are involved in anti- trafficking work.

This new work of fiction is definitely worth your reading concerning this massive human tragedy and contributes an intelligent and compelling voice to the conversation.

This work of fiction is based on the horrific realities of global human trafficking described as “generating over $30 billion a year in profits and involving millions of men, women, and children in forced prostitution and slave labor.” (365)  The book’s author has created a stunning, well-researched and compelling first novel to describe the story of two sisters whose parents die in an unexpected tsunami in an Indian coastal area.

Without protectors, the girls are bought and sold by a succession of handlers who use them for purposes of sex and drug trafficking. A human rights group in Mumbai, which pursues and attempts to prosecute those involved in trafficking, form the group of those seeking to find and save the sisters and others like them.

Materials in this work are based on global, economic and social realities which perpetuate the trade in human beings and those assorted political, legal, governmental, religious groups which attempt to combat it.  The battle is marked by violence, abuse, death, money and drugs.
Chapter 28 sounds a very local voice with the description of girls who are pimped as “lot lizards,” young women who are hired for sex to truck drivers in Harrisburg truck stops.
Additional background is provided by in this work by the author’s Afterword (365-367) which details books, web sites, organizations, documentary videos and movies and suggestions for political involvement for those interested in informing themselves about the fight against trafficking.

Corban Addison, who areas of expertise are indeed multiple, has authored a superlative work and one that invites not only reading but responses of political involvement to the tragedies of trafficking that often exist in the shadows of our own communities.