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Saddle Road Press

A Red Woman Was Crying: Nagovisi Stories

A Red Woman Was Crying: Nagovisi Stories

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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.

Author: Don Mitchell
Publisher: Saddle Road Press
Published: 07/11/2013
Pages: 308
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.86lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.50w x 0.69d
ISBN: 9780983307242

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/0001

About the Author
Mitchell, Don: - Don Mitchell is an ecological anthropologist, writer, book designer, and photographer who lived among the Nagovisi people of Bougainville for several years in the 1960s and 1970s, and returned in 2001 after Bougainville's war of secession. He grew up in Hilo, on the island of Hawai'i, and graduated from Hilo High School. He studied anthropology and creative writing at Stanford and earned a PhD in anthropology from Harvard. For many years he was a professor of anthropology at Buffalo State, a unit of the State University of New York. In his non-academic life, he was a dedicated marathon and ultra-marathon runner and a professional road race timer (operating as Runtime Services). He continues to tackle long distances on foot, though much more slowly. He lived in Buffalo and later in Colden, New York, before moving back to his childhood home in Hilo, where he lives with the poet Ruth Thompson. He published an academic book and articles about Nagovisi, but in the early 1990s returned to writing fiction and poetry. His stories have won praise from many quarters, including a Pushcart nomination and awards from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, New Millennium Writings and other journals. He has been an Artist in Residence for the City of Portales, NM, and in 2019 shared (with Ruth Thompson) the Jack Williamson Visiting Professor of English Chair at Eastern New Mexico University. He is actively involved in matters concerning Mauna Kea, Hawai'i's tallest and most contested mountain.

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