Stranger in the village

Sep 04, Jason Danely rated it liked it A nice follow-up to those who read Stoller's "In Sorcery's Shadow," and who are interested in the idea of medical pluralism but are not up for something with a strong academic style. Stoller's writing is clear and interesting. He does a wonderful job of situating the reader in his own experiences and in doing so, helps readers understand how he makes the decisions he makes during treatment, where he finds solace and meaning in his illness, and how past experiences become rethought or recruited to A nice follow-up to those who read Stoller's "In Sorcery's Shadow," and who are interested in the idea of medical pluralism but are not up for something with a strong academic style. He does a wonderful job of situating the reader in his own experiences and in doing so, helps readers understand how he makes the decisions he makes during treatment, where he finds solace and meaning in his illness, and how past experiences become rethought or recruited to help him recover.

Stranger in the village

It is a role he knows well. As a fledgling fieldworker in Niger, Stoller trained as a Songhay sorcerer; transmitting that knowledge within the academy has been the mainstay of his career.

In recounting his apprenticeship with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Pennsylvania during middle age, Stoller presents Songhay sorcery to the public at large.

Sorcery, he argues, teaches humility and forbearance; it is a stock of practical wisdom on which cancer patients can draw when confronting uncertainty and pain.

Stoller's title is a riff on Susan Sontag's essay about the metaphorical elaboration of illness, but coping, not cultural analysis, is Stoller's domain. The memoir shows how illness can be made into a self-edifying experience. It does not ask why self-edification through illness has captured the moral imagination, or the material resources, of the US middle class.

Nor does it acknowledge that in an era of online medical advice, televised colonoscopies, and chemotherapy blogs, cancer has lost much of the taint that Sontag railed against over a generation ago.

General and Stranger in the village library collections. Bianco independent scholar Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. His life changed overnight, and that led him to reflect on his experience 25 years earlier when, a young anthropologist, he apprenticed with a sorcerer of the Songhay people in the Republic of Niger.

During illness and treatment, he realized that sorcery was a way of coping; his dreadful disease had opened a way of personal growth.

A Stranger in the Village

Not that he believes one needs diagnosis with life-threatening illness to become enlightened. But in his case, such a predicament forced recognition of the symbiotic relationships between illness and health, certainty and uncertainty.

We follow him from diagnosis through chemotherapy and remission as he coincidentally compares the gentle, one-on-one healer-patient relationship in West Africa to the impersonal, usually overtaxed American medical system.

He observes how differently Americans and Songhay experience the world: Ultimately, he learns to respect illness as a part of life. His tough-minded, unsentimental memoir reminds us what it means to be fully alive.

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This memoir of his diagnosis, treatment and remission examines what it means to leave the "village of the healthy" and join the "village of the sick," where illness is a continuing condition with no cure.

After dangerous incidents with competing sorcerers, Stoller returned to America and his academic career, but his cancer brought him back to a re-examination of Adamu's teachings.

Sitting in the chemotherapy infusion room, reciting a Songhay invocation, Stoller felt calmer, as if he had "a degree of control over an uncontrollable situation.

The sorcerer, bridging the known world and the chaos of the unknown, can give guidance by invoking the wisdom of the gods "to harmonize the world" so people can see the path more clearly. While Americans use the war metaphor for fighting disease, the Songhay believe "if you learn to live with illness, your being becomes stronger.

Even healthy readers will find Stoller's account valuable and his perspective on sorcery-its emphasis on humility, its acceptance of adversity, its vision of a world of forces beyond human control-surprisingly moving. Here, he juxtaposes the story of his illness with observations about West African medicine and philosophy, attributing the teachings of sorcerers with helping him cope with cancer.

Stranger in the village

Throughout, Stoller claims that "the devastating presence of cancer in [his] body opened a new pathway to personal growth and development.

Stoller recounts in great and often tedious detail conversations with Songhay sorcerers and American medical professionals, occasionally interweaving these with observations about American society, cancer treatment, and the study of anthropology.

All of this might have worked as an article, but it is too drawn out and repetitive as a book.The Stranger’s Child is a comedy of manners, exuberantly funny, as well as a literary mystery, filled with elegant and erudite tips of the author’s hat to other writers—not just Tennyson, [Rupert] Brooke, but E.M.

Stranger in the Village - Wikipedia

Forster, Evelyn Waugh, Aldous Huxley and many more. And each part is sealed with a kiss.”. Published in , Baldwin's powerful essay recounts his stay in a tiny Swiss village in which "from all available evidence no black man had ever set foot.".

Taylor Hager 5th period Being a stranger in the village to me, means that you’re new and don’t know how things are performed. I was a stranger in the village when I joined a new soccer team.

Stranger in the Village is an essay by the African-American novelist James Baldwin that was originally published in Harper ”s Magazine in and then included in his collection of essays Notes of a Native Son in The essay is an account of Baldwin's experiences in Leukerbad, Switzerland.

Minimalist & stylish rooms reflecting a significant distance when ones first meet others. Mar 04,  · Some basic info on James Baldwin and Stranger in the Village.

James Baldwin is a famous American author, born in NYC in and died in Paris in He is often called a consummate American writer, although he spent the majority of his life in other countries/cities such as Paris, a small town in Switzerland, and Istanbul.

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