Secret Places: My Life in New York and New Guinea

Overview

In the swamps of Asmat in West New Guinea, Tobias Schneebaum—traveler, writer, painter, explorer—finds the way of life that suits him best. Secret Places reels readers into a world of storytellers and sorcerers, cannibals and carvers, a place where Schneebaum discovers his soulmates and his own soul.

Looking back at a life of wild adventure, Schneebaum seeks in Secret Places to intertwine the varied strands of his experience, pondering the parallel universes of his experience as...

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Overview

In the swamps of Asmat in West New Guinea, Tobias Schneebaum—traveler, writer, painter, explorer—finds the way of life that suits him best. Secret Places reels readers into a world of storytellers and sorcerers, cannibals and carvers, a place where Schneebaum discovers his soulmates and his own soul.

Looking back at a life of wild adventure, Schneebaum seeks in Secret Places to intertwine the varied strands of his experience, pondering the parallel universes of his experience as a gay Jewish New Yorker and his years among the Asmat. The result illuminates both worlds—as when he juxtaposes the Asmat celebration of the spirits of the dead with a New York City plagued by AIDS and its own sad spirits.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In the swamps of Asmat in West New Guinea, the author, a traveler, writer, and painter, finds a way of life that suits him best. He takes readers into a world of storytellers and sorcerers, cannibals and carvers, where he discovers his soulmates and his own soul. He ponders the parallel universes of his experience as a gay Jewish New Yorker and his years among the Asmat. Schneebaum worked at the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress in Indonesia from 1973 to 1983, and has lectured widely on Asmat art. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
George De Stefano
Rich with lyricism and tenderness, as well as astute cross-cultural analysis of male same-sex relations...Schneebaum's candor about his motivations and his willingness to show his own vulnerability "balances the inevitable priviledge of his position," as Daved Bergman writes in his perceptive forward...
Nation
Kirkus Reviews
The account of an extended walkabout in search of "people who would accept me, teach me how to live without a feeling of aloneness, teach me love and allow for my sexuality"-which Schneebaum (Where the Spirits Dwell, 1987) finds in New Guinea and, to a lesser extent, New York City.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299169909
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Living out Series
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tobias Schneebaum is the author of Where the Spirits Dwell, Wild Man, and Keep the River on Your Right. From 1973 to 1983 he was assistant to the curator of the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Since then he has lectured widely and curated several exhibitions on Asmat art. Schneebaum is the subject of a documentary film, Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale, by siblings Laurie and David Shapiro. It premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in April 2000, where it received the Critic’s Choice Award.

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