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Return to Nisa

Return to Nisa - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0674008298

ISBN13: 978-0674008298
ISBN10: 0674008294
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Published: 2000
International: No

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Return to Nisa - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0674008298

Marjorie Shostak

ISBN13: 978-0674008298
ISBN10: 0674008294
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Harvard University Press

Published: 2000
International: No
Summary

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.

Author Bio

Shostak, Marjorie : Emory University

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

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