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Nisa by Marjorie Shostak
Married at twelve, then separated, divorced and widowed, Nisa is the mother of four children, none of whom survived. She is strong, capable of foraging on her own in one of the world's most hostile environments, not dependent on any man for her daily sustenance and ready to talk to anyone as her equal. Wise, full of humour at the absurdities of life and courageous in the face of its defeats, she is bawdy, practical and incurably romantic. She is a woman of the !Khung people who live by means of humanity's oldest survival strategy - gathering and hunting. This book is the remarkable story of Nisa's life, told in her own words to Marjorie Shostak. It is a story full of echoes from a female past that we can never know directly. But it is also Nisa's unique story, her own voice, her own dignity. In anyone's culture, she is a remarkable woman.
Nisa The Life And Words Of A Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak
This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the!Kung tribe of hunter-gatherers from southern Africa's Kalahari desert. Told in her own words - earthy, emotional, vivid - to Marjorie Shostak, a Harvard anthropologist who succeeded, with Nisa's collaboration, in breaking through the immense barriers of language and culture, the story is a fascinating view of a remarkable woman. -- Publisher description.
Return To Nisa by Marjorie Shostak
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. "It was not that we had become the best of friends or like close family. It was simply that she and I had the most straightforward connection I had ever had with anyone, before or since. It was as if the !Kung culture and my talks with Nisa touched something beyond reason in me. Even though I didn't necessarily like everything Nisa said, nor everything about her, my heart had been captured. But how often I wished Nisa had been more noble, more selfless, and more philosophical. Nisa had to be known well to be appreciated, for she was complex and difficult. She probably would say much the same about me. We both wanted things from each other, and neither of us got as much as we hoped for. That we both got some of what we wanted--well, that made our friendship extremely valuable." --from the Epilogue
Why Women Have Sex by Cindy M. Meston
An unparalleled exploration of the mysteries underlying women's sexuality that rivals the culture-shifting Kinsey Report, from two of America's leading research psychologists Do women have sex simply to reproduce or display their affection? When University of Texas at Austin clinical psychologist Cindy M. Meston and evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss joined forces to investigate the underlying sexual motivations of women, what they found astonished them. Through the voices of real women, Meston and Buss reveal the motivations that guide women's sexual decisions and explain the deep-seated psychology and biology that often unwittingly drive women's desires—sometimes in pursuit of health or pleasure, or sometimes for darker, disturbing reasons that a woman may not fully recognize. Drawing on more than a thousand intensive interviews conducted solely for the book, as well as their pioneering research on physiological response and evolutionary emotions, Why Women Have Sex uncovers an amazingly complex and nuanced portrait of female sexuality. They delve into the use of sex as a defensive tactic against a mate's infidelity (protection), as a ploy to boost self-confidence (status), as a barter for gifts or household chores (resource acquisition), or as a cure for a migraine headache (medication). Why Women Have Sex stands as the richest and deepest psychological understanding of female sexuality yet achieved and promises to inform every woman's (and her partner's) awareness of her relationship to sex and her sexuality.
Venus On Wheels by Gelya Frank
In 1976 Gelya Frank began writing about the life of Diane DeVries, a woman born with all the physical and mental equipment she would need to live in our society--except arms and legs. Frank was 28 years old, DeVries 26. This remarkable book--by turns moving, funny, and revelatory--records the relationship that developed between the women over the next twenty years. An empathic listener and participant in DeVries's life, and a scholar of the feminist and disability rights movements, Frank argues that Diane DeVries is a perfect example of an American woman coming of age in the second half of the twentieth century. By addressing the dynamics of power in ethnographic representation, Frank--anthropology's leading expert on life history and life story methods--lays the critical groundwork for a new genre, "cultural biography." Challenged to examine the cultural sources of her initial image of DeVries as limited and flawed, Frank discovers that DeVries is gutsy, buoyant, sexy--and definitely not a victim. While she analyzes the portrayal of women with disabilities in popular culture--from limbless circus performers to suicidal heroines on the TV news--Frank's encounters with DeVries lead her to come to terms with her own "invisible disabilities" motivating the study. Drawing on anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, narrative theory, law, and the history of medicine, Venus on Wheels is an intellectual tour de force.
Laibon by Elliot M. Fratkin
Elliot Fratkin shares the story of his early anthropological fieldwork in Kenya in the 1970s. Using his fieldnotes and letters home to bring to life the voices of those he met, Fratkin invites the reader to experience his cross-cultural friendships with the enigmatic laibon (a diviner and healer of the Samburu and Maasai peoples) Lonyoki, his family, and the people of the nomadic community of Lukumai. Fratkin participated in the daily lives of the Ariaal livestock herders and accompanied the laibon as he performed divination and healing rituals throughout Marsabit and Samburu Districts. After Fratkin reunited Lonyoki with his son and wife, Lonyoki adopted Fratkin into his family, and Fratkin continues his close friendship with Lonyoki s son Lembalen today. Black-and-white photographs, a guide to the characters, words, and places, and a list of suggested readings supplement the engaging narrative. Laibon is more than a memoir; it delves into nitty-gritty details of fieldwork, speaks to larger questions about ethnographic research, and provides unparalleled insight into the world of the laibon."
Translated Woman by Ruth Behar
Translated Woman tells the story of an unforgettable encounter between Ruth Behar, a Cuban-American feminist anthropologist, and Esperanza Hernández, a Mexican street peddler. The tale of Esperanza's extraordinary life yields unexpected and profound reflections on the mutual desires that bind together anthropologists and their "subjects."
Guests Of The Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
A delightful, well-written, and vastly informative ethnographic study, this is an account of Fernea's two-year stay in a tiny rural village in Iraq, where she assumed the dress and sheltered life of a harem woman. This volume gives a unique insight into a part of the Midddle Eastern life seldom seen by the West. "A most enjoyable book abouut [Muslim women]--simple, dignified, human, colorful, sad and humble as the life they lead." --Muhsin Mahdi, Jewett Professor of Arabic Literature, Harvard Unversity.
Alejandro Tsakimp by Steven Rubenstein
In his own words, Alejandro Tsakimp, a Shuar healer from Ecuador, tells of his lives and relationships, the practice of shamanism, and the many challenges and triumphs he has encountered since childhood.
The Netsilik Eskimo by Asen Balikci
Today regarded as a classic, this description of life in polar cultures reflects traditional ethnography at its best and has been a favored account for thirty years. Balikcis important study of the Netsilingmiut, an isolated tribe of Arctic hunters living close to the Arctic Circle, examines their technology, social organization, and religion. The extended period of time that the author worked with the Netsilik Eskimo is reflected in the depth of his understanding of their past and present environments. His portrayal of their dependence on government services, along with modern technology, provides an accurate and necessary insight into the process of cultural change being experienced by cultures in many developing countries. The volume makes a superb accompaniment to the Netsilik documentary film series.