Joan Abelove Go and Come Back

ISBN 13: 9781439556955

Go and Come Back

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9781439556955: Go and Come Back

Here is a teenage voice you haven't heard--from the Peruvian jungle.

Alicia lives much as her Isabo ancestors have lived for centuries in the Amazon jungle of Peru. She is astonished when "two old white ladies" arrive on the river and announce through their boatman, the girl's mother's brother's wife's brother, that they want to settle in Poincushmana for a time, to study. They are anthropologists (and actually in their twenties), but to Alicia and the others they are stingy, too skinny, sexually naive, and strangers. It is a baby girl (more valuable in the village than a boy!) who helps bridge the gap--a child whom young Alicia adopts to save her from her brutish Peruvian trader father. In the end, the time Alicia, Joanna, and Margarita share is hardly enough. Their story, vividly shown, is unique to its setting. It could happen nowhere else on earth. The author writes in a note: "This is a work of fiction based on real places, experiences, and people in the early 1970s. It is not known whether the actual village or any of those very real people still exist."

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From the Back Cover:

You live in the Peruvian jungle. The only people you know are your fellow villagers. And then, one day, two strangers arrive....

Late one day, just before dinnertime in the Peruvian jungle village of Poincushmana, two old white ladies from New York arrive in a boat. Everyone hurries down to the riverbank to greet them -- everyone but Alicia. She doesn't understand why the rest of her tribe, the Isabo, are making such a fuss. But as the days pass, she too is drawn in -- because the old ladies (who are really in their twenties and anthropologists) are stingy, stupid, and fun to watch. They don't understand the Isabo. Someone needs to set them straight. And that someone, surprisingly enough, is Alicia.

About the Author:

For Joan Abelove, living in the Peruvian jungle to do her fieldwork was a life transforming experience. Her two years there and the friendships she developed with the Amazonian people fostered a deep love and keen interest in anthropology and led her to change her course of study. After returning from Peru, Abelove transferred from the clinical psychology program, where she had been a Ph.D. student, to the anthropology department, where she got her doctorate in cultural anthropology.

Go and Come Back (DK Ink, 1998), Abelove's first novel for young adults, was based on her fieldwork in the Amazon jungle. Booklist, in a starred review, remarked that "Abelove's story of a Peruvian tribe in the 1970s has a freshness to it . . . Abelove's remarkable gift is letting readers see their own culture through the eyes of someone whose values are completely different . . . Full of life and packed with characters that by turns irritate and enlighten, Go and Come Back is a startling, vibrant read."

Abelove's second book for young adults, Saying it Out Loud (DK Ink, 1999), recounts the story of a young woman dealing with her mother's illness and eventual death from cancer. It was immediately received with much praise, including three starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Booklist magazine which states that "this proves once again that Abelove can write books that are not only very complex but also vibrant and infused with tenderness."

Born in Florida and now residing in New York City, Abelove is married and has one son. She graduated from Barnard college with a degree in English literature and got her NYC Teaching License from the Bank Street School of Education. She received an A.B.D. in clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from CUNY.

Abelove taught undergraduate anthropology courses as an adjunct professor for several years at various colleges in the New York City area. She has presented papers at the American Anthropological Association conventions and at the Bennington Anthropological Conference on the Amazon.

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