The Names of Things: A Novel

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9781618220059: The Names of Things: A Novel
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2013 Chautauqua Prize Finalist

The anthropologist's wife, an artist, didn't want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers. When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied.

He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows. Set in a windswept wilderness menaced by hyenas and lions, The Names of Things weaves together the stories of an anthropologist's journey into the desert, his firsthand accounts of the nomads' death rituals, and his struggle to find the names of things for which no words exist. Anthropologist John Colman Wood's debut novel is an exquisite, haunting exploration of the meaning of love and the rituals of grief.

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About the Author:

John Colman Wood teaches at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. His field research with Gabra nomads of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. His fiction has appeared in Anthropology and Humanism, and he has twice won the Ethnographic Fiction Prize of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, once for a story extracted from The Names of Things. He is the author of When Men Are Women: Manhood among Gabra Nomads of East Africa (University of Wisconsin Press, 1999). Before becoming an anthropologist, Wood was a journalist.

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"John Colman Wood's The Names of Things is a thoughtful, patient, and ultimately rewarding book. It's about, among many other things, the connections human beings make, that in spite of everything, we will always make. To quote from the book, 'What he saw in the people was what the old anthropologists called communitas. It wasn't that the people sang and moved. It was their singing and moving together...' Singing and moving together, Wood has found a way to express this profound and beautiful idea through fiction." -- Peter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love "The Names of Things beautifully renders one man's struggle to balance his life's work with the love of his life. As much spiritual journey as it is physical adventure, this gripping novel is about an anthropologist who sheds his self-conscious role as a studier of man and becomes, almost in spite of himself, a man himself. It is a dramatic portrait of the fine line between selflessness and selfishness. But above all it is a profound and moving story, and John Colman Wood is an anthropologist of the human heart." -- Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was Mine "In this gripping novel, John Wood dwells deeply in an exotic African culture, evokes its humanity along with its customs and rituals, and weaves a tale of adventure that uses the fine texture of his prose to envelop us and make us feel we are there. Rarely if ever has the experience of fieldwork been transmuted into such a good story." -- Melvin Konner, author of The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit and The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind "At once a love story, an ethnography, an adventure novel, and a meditation on grief, The Names of Things explores the inward and outward journeys that mark us, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to make sense of them. Reminiscent of Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses, Wood's novel has a compelling, cumulative power that comes by way of language as clear and fresh as water, and a profound, keenly humane watchfulness that well serves both the book's nameless anthropologist and Wood, its author." -- Katherine Min, author of Secondhand World

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Book Description Ashland Creek Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Finalist for the 2013 Chautauqua Prize. The anthropologist s wife, an artist, didn t want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers. When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied. He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows. Set in a windswept wilderness menaced by hyenas and lions, The Names of Things weaves together the stories of an anthropologist s journey into the desert, his firsthand accounts of the nomads death rituals, and his struggle to find the names of things for which no words exist. Anthropologist John Colman Wood s debut novel is an exquisite, haunting exploration of the meaning of love and the rituals of grief. Seller Inventory # AAV9781618220059

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Book Description Ashland Creek Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Finalist for the 2013 Chautauqua Prize. The anthropologist s wife, an artist, didn t want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers. When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied. He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows. Set in a windswept wilderness menaced by hyenas and lions, The Names of Things weaves together the stories of an anthropologist s journey into the desert, his firsthand accounts of the nomads death rituals, and his struggle to find the names of things for which no words exist. Anthropologist John Colman Wood s debut novel is an exquisite, haunting exploration of the meaning of love and the rituals of grief. Seller Inventory # AAV9781618220059

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Book Description Ashland Creek Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Finalist for the 2013 Chautauqua Prize. The anthropologist s wife, an artist, didn t want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers. When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied. He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows. Set in a windswept wilderness menaced by hyenas and lions, The Names of Things weaves together the stories of an anthropologist s journey into the desert, his firsthand accounts of the nomads death rituals, and his struggle to find the names of things for which no words exist. Anthropologist John Colman Wood s debut novel is an exquisite, haunting exploration of the meaning of love and the rituals of grief. Seller Inventory # LIE9781618220059

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. 277 pages. a thoughtful, patient, and ultimately rewarding bookPeter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and LoveThe Names of Things beautifully renders one mans struggle to balance his lifes work with the love of his life. . . a profound and moving story. Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was MineThe Names of Things is a beautifully written book permeated with a sense of sadness and regret, set against the backdrop of the desolate Kenyan landscape. BookBrowse. comThe anthropologists wife, an artist, didnt want to follow her husband to the remote desert of northeast Africa to live with camel-herding nomads. But wanting to be with him, she endured the trip, only to fall desperately ill years later with a disease that leaves her husband with more questions than answers. When the anthropologist discovers a deception that shatters his grief and guilt, he begins to reevaluate his love for his wife as well as his friendship with one of the nomads he studied. He returns to Africa to make sense of what happened, traveling into the far reaches of the Chalbi Desert, where he must sift through the layers of his memories and reconcile them with what he now knows. Set in a windswept wilderness menaced by hyenas and lions, The Names of Things weaves together the stories of an anthropologists journey into the desert, his firsthand accounts of the nomads death rituals, and his struggle to find the names of things for which no words exist. Anthropologist John Colman Woods debut novel is an exquisite, haunting exploration of the meaning of love and the rituals of grief. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781618220059

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