Friday, July 23, 2010
Ethnographic books as compelling as fiction
Off and on I google to find what others think of the books that I like. Googling about Amitav Ghosh's "In an Antique Land" , I found this post Ethnographic fiction: "Here’s what I came up with: Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic; Lila Abu-Lughod, Writing Women’s Worlds; Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Guests of the Sheikh (not precisely an ethnography, more a memoir); Paul Willis, Learning to Labor; Philippe Bourgois, In Search of Respect; Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land; Joao Biehl, Vita; Levi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques; and the book I’m reading now, by one of the Levi-Strauss’s students, Pierre Clastres’ Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians." And many more. I read only two of them. The post is more than two years old. May be Alice Albinia's "Empires of the Indus" can be added.