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Give Me My Father's Body. the Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo

Harper, Kenn

331 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1883642531 / ISBN 13: 9781883642532
Published by South Royalton: Steerforth Press 2000., 2000
Used Hardcover
From Ken Jackson (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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About this Item

First edition hardcover in dust jacket. 277 pp. Photographs, notes, appendix, bibliography, index. Fine/Fine. Bookseller Inventory # 22861

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Give Me My Father's Body. the Life of Minik,...

Publisher: South Royalton: Steerforth Press 2000.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

A compelling biography of the Eskimo boy who was brought back to the U.S. by explorer Robert Peary recreates the twelve agonizing years little Minik spent living as an alien in New York City, an experience that culminates with the discovery that his father's body is on display at the Museum of Natural History. 25,000 first printing. $25,000 ad/promo. BOMC.

Review:

At last returning to print, Give Me My Father's Body is the thought-provoking tale of Minik, a young Inuit boy brought to New York by Robert Peary around the turn of the 20th century. Told simply and interspersed with personal letters and newspaper clippings, the book examines Minik's life both as a cross-cultural meeting place and a deeply personal search for a place to call "home." Photographs throughout of Minik give a glimpse into the incredible differences between the multiple worlds he inhabited, and how impossible it must have been to live in these worlds successfully. The title derives from one of Minik's more harrowing experiences--finding his father's bones displayed in a natural-history museum as a "curiosity"--and his attempts to retrieve the bones for a more respectful burial. Author Kenn Harper, while including many facts and articles about Arctic exploration, refrains from sharing opinions about the various explorers or their methods, choosing to share this story--and his years of research--plainly. From the death of Minik's birth father to the financial ruin of his American foster family, the events of Minik's childhood seem like one disaster after another, and his adulthood--the successful return to Greenland, followed by disappointment and a subsequent return to New York--is an unhappy struggle to find some kind of personal fulfillment. Questions of racial and cultural differences make an inescapable larger framework for Minik's life, and the emotions brought forward in answering those questions make reading this book a powerful experience. --Jill Lightner

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