A Red Woman Was Crying

Overview

Don Mitchell's new collection of short stories, set among tribal people on Bougainville Island in the late 1960s, demystifies ethnography by turning it on its head. The narrators are Nagovisi - South Pacific rainforest cultivators - and through their eyes the reader comes to know the young American anthropologist, himself struggling with his identity as a Vietnam-era American, who's come to to study their culture in a time of change.

Beautifully written, evocative, and utterly ...

See more details below
Paperback
$15.50
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$17.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $7.99   
  • New (6) from $11.54   
  • Used (3) from $7.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Don Mitchell's new collection of short stories, set among tribal people on Bougainville Island in the late 1960s, demystifies ethnography by turning it on its head. The narrators are Nagovisi - South Pacific rainforest cultivators - and through their eyes the reader comes to know the young American anthropologist, himself struggling with his identity as a Vietnam-era American, who's come to to study their culture in a time of change.

Beautifully written, evocative, and utterly original, A Red Woman was Crying takes the reader into the rich and complex internal lives of Nagovisi -- young and old, male and female, gentle and fierce -- as they grapple with predatory miners, indifferent colonial masters, missionaries, their own changing culture, their sometimes violent past, and the "other" who has come to live with them.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-25
This collection of short stories by anthropologist Mitchell provides a window into the culture of the Pacific Islands. The Nagovisi people live in West-Central Bougainville Island, which is part of the Solomon Islands in terms of culture and ethnicity but is politically part of Papua New Guinea. Although the stories Mitchell presents are to be read as fiction rather than ethnography, they nevertheless offer a glimpse of a group of people and a way of living with which many readers are likely unfamiliar. The tales, which range in length from a single page to 50, display a variety of storytelling techniques. Some, such as "Crocodile Kills His Father" and the eponymous "A Red Woman Was Crying," are takes on traditional folktales. In the former, after a woman named Sipita gives birth to the first crocodile, she hides him in a basket and warns her husband not to look inside, just as, say, Bluebeard warned his wife not to open the closet and Pandora was warned not to open her box. Some of the stories give a view of the larger Nagovisi culture and seem representative of what might be told to children, the equivalent of the Western tale of Mother Goose. Others have a more typical narrative structure and, rather than highlighting any sort of overarching mythology or belief system, serve to explicate aspects of day-to-day life in this culture. There's much of interest here, particularly to readers with an anthropological bent, but even though Mitchell doesn't aim for this to be an academic text, a little more context would be helpful. The collection would also read more smoothly if the folktales were presented in some kind of lucid order; as is, the contrasts in style can be abrupt and somewhat jarring. A worthwhile read for aspiring ethnographers or readers interested in South Pacific culture.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983307242
  • Publisher: Saddle Road Press
  • Publication date: 7/11/2013
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)