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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of two women--one a hunter-gatherer in Botswana, the other an ailing American anthropologist--this powerful book returns the reader to territory that Marjorie Shostak wrote of so poignantly in the now classic Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. Here, however, the ground has perceptibly shifted. First published in 1981, Nisa served as a stirring introduction to anthropology's most basic question: Can there be true understanding between people of profoundly different cultures? Diagnosed with breast cancer, and troubled by a sense of work yet unfinished, Shostak returned to Botswana in 1989. This book tells simply and directly of her rediscovery of the !Kung people she had come to know years before--the aging, blunt, demanding Nisa, her stalwart husband Bo, understanding Kxoma, fragile Hwantla, and Royal, translator and guide. In Shostak's words, we clearly see !Kung life, the dry grasslands, the healing dances, the threatening military presence. And we see Shostak herself, passionately curious, reporting the discomforts and confusion of fieldwork along with its fascination. By turns amused and frustrated, she describes the disappointments--and chastening lessons--that inevitably follow when anthropologists (like her younger self) romanticize the !Kung. Throughout, we observe a woman of threatened health but enormous vitality as she pursues the promise she once discovered in the !Kung people and, above all, in Nisa. At the core of the book is the remarkable relationship between these two women from different worlds. They are often caught off guard by the limits of their mutual understanding. Still, their determination to reach out to each other lingers in the reader's mind long after the story ends--providing an eloquent response to questions that Nisa so memorably posed.

Synopsis:

The story of two women--one a hunter-gatherer in Botswana, the other an ailing American anthropologist--this powerful book returns the reader to territory that Marjorie Shostak wrote of so poignantly in Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. Here, however, the ground has perceptibly shifted. Nisa served as a stirring introduction to anthropology's most basic question: Can there be true understanding between people of profoundly different cultures? Diagnosed with breast cancer, and troubled by a sense of work yet unfinished, Shostak returned to Botswana in 1989. This book tells simply and directly of her rediscovery of the !Kung people she had come to know years before.

About the Author

Marjorie Shostak was a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University and an award-winning photographer.

Table of Contents

  • Africa!
  • Voices in Dobe
  • Spirit Travel
  • Nisa Is Inside
  • Gifts and Payments
  • Into the Bush
  • Lions in the Night
  • Village Reflections
  • Nisa Remembers
  • Deep Trances
  • Past and Present
  • Soldiers and Spies
  • Nisa the Healer
  • Last Goodbyes
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674008298
Author:
Shostak, Marjorie
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Shostak, Marjori
Author:
E
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Biography-Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Biography-Women
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women
Subject:
s Studies
Copyright:
Publication Date:
March 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
23 halftones
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Sub Saharan Africa
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General

Return to Nisa New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674008298 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The story of two women--one a hunter-gatherer in Botswana, the other an ailing American anthropologist--this powerful book returns the reader to territory that Marjorie Shostak wrote of so poignantly in Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. Here, however, the ground has perceptibly shifted. Nisa served as a stirring introduction to anthropology's most basic question: Can there be true understanding between people of profoundly different cultures? Diagnosed with breast cancer, and troubled by a sense of work yet unfinished, Shostak returned to Botswana in 1989. This book tells simply and directly of her rediscovery of the !Kung people she had come to know years before.
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