THE STORY OR TWO WOMEN WHO RISKED EVERYTHING IN THE INTERNATIONAL DRUG TRADE
(Berkeley: Seal Press, 2010), 325 pages.
Much has been written about the global drug trade, the international cartels, and the men at the top, creating an illusion that women are not a part of this illicit business. In Strange Trade, author Asale Angel-Ajani shatters this stereotype with an intimate account of two African women involved in drug trafficking, who were brought together in Italy's Rebibbia prison. Angel-Ajani's retelling of their narratives, as well as her own experiences, makes this book not only a story of the drug trade, but also one of the author's adventures researching this dangerous subject.
The greatest lesson communicated by this book is that women are not necessarily mules and victims. As demonstrated in the stories of "the Ugandan," some women "chose the business" and lead their own international cartels. One of the women's tales offers a stark contradiction of the stereotypical female experience: a desperate victim tricked into becoming a mule.
Angel-Ajani offers glimpses into subjects that could be books in themselves: the horrors of the...