Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman / Edition 1

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It is the story of Nisa, a member of the !Kung hunter-gatherer people of southern Africa's Kalahari desert, told in her own words -- earthy, emotional, vivid -- to Marjorie Shostak, an American ethnographer. Together, these two women break through immense barriers of language and culture to give us a fascinating view of a remarkable life.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
[A] scrupulous, sad, exciting book.
New York Review of Books
We have a remarkable anthropologist to thank for an absorbing account.
Both Nisa and Shostak are unusual people, and their collaboration has resulted in an unparalleled account of !Kung life from a personal rather than social or ecological perspective. Even more important, their work results in a revelation of the universality of women's experiences and feelings despite vast differences in culture and society. Nisa helps us know what it means to be !Kung, to be a woman, and finally, to be human.
Wall Street Journal

Nisa is a humbling and inspiring book.
— Tim Jeal

George Marcus
When I reread Nisa, as I have done regularly in teaching over the years, I experience its originality, poignancy, and excitement afresh each time. Few books that were so influential in changing the look and feel of ethnography for entire generations of anthropologists have held up so well. It is a classic, with currency and continuing possibility.
Wall Street Journal - Tim Jeal
Nisa is a humbling and inspiring book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674004320
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 137,309
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Shostak was a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University and an award-winning photographer.
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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Earliest Memories
  • 2. Family Life
  • 3. Life in the Bush
  • 4. Discovering Sex
  • 5. Trial Marriages
  • 6. Marriage
  • 7. Wives and Co-Wives
  • 8. First Birth
  • 9. Motherhood and Loss
  • 10. Change
  • 11. Women and Men
  • 12. Taking Lovers
  • 13. A Healing Ritual
  • 14. Further Losses
  • 15. Growing Older
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2015


    This is the ONLY book I enjoyed reading in my college career. I wouldve never picked it up on my own. This book is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    !Kung Makes You Think and Appriciate

    The !Kung makes you appriciate everything in your life. It made me realize that I am so blessed to have everything; food on the table, music to listen to. !Kung is an interesting look at the life and culture of someone half way around the world; it made me open my eyes to the reality that some people are not as fortunate and some ideas are not the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    Perspective Change

    This book will help one appreciate what one has. I couldn't put the book down. This book was required for a cultural anthropology class, I am glad the professor chose this book, Nisa is neat. The life of the !Kung is one that I could never have imagined ever existed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2001

    Fantastic insight

    Shostak wrote a great ethnography over the like of the Kung. It's along the lines of an autobgraphy from Nisa herself along with helpful insight from Shostak. I highly recommend people to read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 6 Customer Reviews

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