Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa



❮BOOKS❯ ⚡ Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa Author Alma Gottlieb – E17streets4all.co.uk This suspenseful and moving memoir of Africa recounts the experiences of Alma Gottlieb an anthropologist and Philip Graham a fiction writer as they lived in two remote villages in the rain forest of C This suspenseful and moving memoir of Africa An Anthropologist Kindle × recounts the experiences of Alma Gottlieb an anthropologist and Philip Graham a fiction writer as they lived in two remote villages in the rain forest of Cote d'Ivoire With an unusual coupling of first person narratives their alternate voices tell a story imbued with sweeping narrative power humility and gentle humor Parallel Worlds is a uniue look at Africa anthropological fieldwork and the artistic processA remarkable look at a remote society and an engaging memoir that testifies to a loving partnership compelling—James Idema Chicago Tribune.Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa

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Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter
  • Paperback
  • 343 pages
  • Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa
  • Alma Gottlieb
  • English
  • 11 October 2014
  • 9780226305066

10 thoughts on “Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa

  1. says:

    Written by two well published authors in an unfamiliar genre Parallel Worlds is the story of a married couple who live in Cote d'Ivoire for just shy of two years in the early 1980’s while the anthropologist wife Alma conducts ethnographic research on the yet unstudied Beng people while husband Phillip follows his wife on her dream while trying to maintain his practice as a writer of literary fiction Each chapter covers the time span of one to two months with sections organized around events or concepts authored alternatingly between Graham and Gottlieb The narrative while banal in some regards captures readers interest by holding unknown whether the tribe will actually accept Gottlieb as a legitimate and safe person to entrust with their culture and because the differences between American and Beng culture are fascinating and told usually without judgement Because it is a narrative and not one of the many books Gottlieb wrote anthropologically about the Beng there was unfortunately a gap in details and summary information that was at times uite distracting from the over arching narrative While the decision to remain in the story was a good one the addition of exposition reflection andor summary would have brought greater cohesion to the reader experience Again because they were probably trying to veer from the anthropological work they sometimes neglected to include details about general layouts of compounds villages access to water and electricity freuency of their travels When a detail was then thrown in as part of a story not knowing these details jarred out of the story That notwithstanding I deeply enjoyed the book and their willingness to lay plain even their failings and short sightedness about their time in Bengland

  2. says:

    The authors travel to the interior of Cote d'Ivoire and live with the Beng peopleWife and husband Alma Gottlieb is an anthropologist and Philip Graham is a fiction writer This book is a co written account of how Gottlieb and Graham adapt to the Beng culture while the Beng people likewise adapt to this unexpected intrusion of two US citizens Interestingly Graham’s account turns into an anthropological study of his wife’s efforts to implement her plan despite community and individual resistance and inevitable cultural misunderstandings At the same time Graham writes of his own frustration with the US approach to the “IranHostage Crisis” while simultaneously struggling to continue his own writing practice in the face of constant public scrutiny The POV remains of course distanced and limited to the author’s backgrounds and language barriers The reader experiences this world through senses trained by the US educational and cultural practices A fascinating account from the Beng POV is obviously lacking The authors nonetheless strive mightily to represent euitably all sides despite deep cultural and communicative disparities

  3. says:

    Despite the limitations of anthropology and anthropologists this book was very interesting I'd recommend it to anyone interested in West Africa or planning a trip there An anthropologist and her writer husband both write their perspectives about moving into and living in a remote village in Cote d'Ivoire It is easy to imagine oneself trying to blend in to a culture so different from one's own trying to make friends across those differences but can you given your privilege difference and the fact that you are an anthropologist? Think your Peace Corps fantasy in glorious detail

  4. says:

    I read these books backwards first Braided World and then Parallel Worlds I should have read this one first I learned a lot about Africa particularly the Beng people in Cote d'Ivoire but what I really learned is less tangible It's just a general sense and it's a sense not a complete feeling that each culture thinks their culture is the superior culture I'm amazed at the author's abilities to completely immerse themselves in the culture nonjudgmentally I would not have been able to do that I wish I could I have a greater desire to explore the rest of the world now

  5. says:

    I like the premise of this book an anthropologist and her partner collaborating to write about their experience during her fieldwork than the book itself I found the writing style dry and the two authors' voices insufficiently distinct from one another I stopped reading about 100 pages in

  6. says:

    Awesome book not as dry as most anthropological studies Alma Gottlieb and her husband an author both went and lived with the Beng tribe Both contributed to the book so along with Alma's anthropological data you get Phillip's narrative style

  7. says:

    An anthropologist and her fiction writing husband chronicle their stay in a Beng village in the Ivory Coast They struggle to be accepted and to understand the culture and religion of these people They are changed profoundly than they realize

  8. says:

    I like books that give multiple perspectives This book was written by a couple who lived with a Beng tribe It was a very interesting culture to read about from the perspective of an anthropologist and just a normal person along for the ride

  9. says:

    Not exactly an ethnography like a travel guide

  10. says:

    It was a good read Lots of humor and adventures as we come to love the different characters

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