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    Eli GottliebEli Gottlieb has done something unusual — he's written two novels, 20 years apart, from opposing but connected perspectives. The Boy Who Went... Continue »
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1 Beaverton World History- Africa

This title in other editions

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

by

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a compelling mix of literary narrative and ethnography, anthropologist Alma Gottlieb and writer Philip Graham continue the long journey of cultural engagement with the Beng people of Côte d’Ivoire that they first recounted in their award-winning memoir Parallel Worlds. Their commitment over the span of several decades has lent them a rare insight. Braiding their own stories with those of the villagers of Asagbé and Kosangbé, Gottlieb and Graham take turns recounting a host of unexpected dramas with these West African villages, prompting serious questions about the fraught nature of cultural contact.
 
Through events such as a religious leader’s declaration that the authors’ six-year-old son, Nathaniel, is the reincarnation of a revered ancestor, or Graham’s late father being accepted into the Beng afterlife, or the increasing, sometimes dangerous madness of a villager, the authors are forced to reconcile their anthropological and literary gaze with the deepest parts of their personal lives. Along with these intimate dramas, they follow the Beng from times of peace through the times of tragedy that led to Côte d’Ivoire’s recent civil conflicts. From these and many other interweaving narratives—and with the combined strengths of an anthropologist and a literary writer—Braided Worlds examines the impact of postcolonialism, race, and global inequity at the same time that it chronicles a living, breathing village community where two very different worlds meet.

Synopsis:

In captivating prose, Dowden spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the Internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Rwanda and the Congo.

Synopsis:

After a lifetimeand#8217;s close observation of the continent, one of the worldand#8217;s finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa. It takes a guide as observant, experienced, and patient as Richard Dowden to reveal its truths. Dowden combines a novelistand#8217;s gift for atmosphere with the scholarand#8217;s grasp of historical change as he spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Dowdenand#8217;s master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is, and enables its readers to see and understand this miraculous continent as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.

About the Author

Richard Dowden is director of the Royal African Society. He spent a decade as Africa Editor of the Independent, and then another decade as Africa Editor of the Economist. He has made three television documentaries on Africa, for the BBC and Channel 4.

Table of Contents

Preface

A Note to Readers

1 A Beng Path to Birth (September 1986-May 1987)

Alma: Of Blessings and Bad Faith

Philip: The Scrabble Champion

Alma: Two Homes and a Hospital

2 Censored Words (March 1990)

Philip: La Crise

Alma: Can You Teach Anthropology to a Toddler?

Philip: Our Own House of Mbari

3 Back in the Village (May-June 1993)

Alma: The House of Africa

Philip: Raising the Stakes

Alma: Old Agendas, New Agendas

Philip: The Adventures of Tintin

Alma: The Spirit of Grandfather Denju

Philip: One Screen Door

4 Casting Spells (June-July 1993)

Alma: Another Story to Confess

Philip: Anything but Invisible

Alma: Too Expensive to Die

Philip: The Waiting Fax

5 Things of the Heart (July-August 1993)

Alma: Mad to Be Modern

Philip: My Fathers African Afterlife

Alma: The First Twelve Months of Life

Philip: Welcoming Ghosts

Alma: Amenans Lament

Philip: “Denju, Denju”

Alma: Mystical Musical Chairs

Philip: Gifting Party

Alma: Tying Up Loose Ends

Philip: Shooting Fish

6 A Different Fieldwork Site (January 1994)

Alma: Converging Paths

Philip: “Kana Poblé”

Epilogue: Côte dIvoire and the Beng in Crisis

A Brief Note about the Beng

Cast of Characters

Glossary

Map: Côte dIvoire

Map: Beng region

Map: Amenans compound, 1993

Map: Côte dIvoires civil war and the Beng region, ca. 2006

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781586488161
Author:
Dowden, Richard
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Foreword by:
Achebe, Chinua
Foreword:
Achebe, Chinua
Author:
Gottlieb, Alma
Author:
Graham, Philip
Subject:
Africa - General
Subject:
Regional Studies
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
maps throughout
Pages:
184
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.2 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Africa » General
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History and Social Science » World History » Africa
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Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles Used Trade Paper
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Product details 184 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781586488161 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In captivating prose, Dowden spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the Internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Rwanda and the Congo.
"Synopsis" by ,
After a lifetimeand#8217;s close observation of the continent, one of the worldand#8217;s finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa. It takes a guide as observant, experienced, and patient as Richard Dowden to reveal its truths. Dowden combines a novelistand#8217;s gift for atmosphere with the scholarand#8217;s grasp of historical change as he spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Dowdenand#8217;s master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is, and enables its readers to see and understand this miraculous continent as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.
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