Cover image for Into the heart : one man's pursuit of love and knowledge among the Yanomama
Into the heart : one man's pursuit of love and knowledge among the Yanomama
Good, Kenneth.
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Publication Information:
New York : Simon and Schuster, [1991]

Physical Description:
349 pages ; 25 cm
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Material Type
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F2520.1.Y3 G66 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

An irresistible love story that transcends culture, language, time, and place. The Yanomama live simply in the relatively unexploited Venezuelan rain forest. Kenneth Good, an aspiring anthropologist and doctoral candidate, arrives to do field work for his study of protein intake. His first months are stressful. The climate is debilitating, he can't speak the language, and he feels like the clown of the Amazon as the Yanomama watch his every move with glee. But soon a warm rapport is established, and Good discovers that he's very happy there and even falls in love with and marries, Yanomama-style, a young girl named Yarima. But this is no tropical idyll. A series of unimaginable conflicts and hardships conspire to separate the lovers, but their strength and love prevail, and Good brings Yarima out of the jungle into the blare of civilization. Now it's her turn to face an unknown, radically different world. The story is so dramatic, Good's insights and observations so sharp and revelatory, you have to keep reminding yourself that this isn't brilliant fiction but rather a tale of unforgettable truths. Not to be missed. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1975 anthropology student Good went to Venezuelan Amazonia for a 15-month study of the Yanomama, a Stone Age tribe of the rain forest, characterized as ``a fierce people'' by their discoverer, Napoleon Chagnon, also Good's teacher. Within the year, Good had come to admire the Yanomama way of life; he learned their language and moved his hammock into their compound. When the headman suggested that Good needed a wife, he accepted nine-year-old Yarima and waited for her to come of age. He fell in love with Yarima, then, as an outsider, found himself in trouble with Venezuelan officialdom and in danger of losing her. Having stayed 12 years, Good returned to the U.S., bringing his wife with him; he now teaches at Jersey City State College in N.J. His story, written with freelancer Chanoff, is spellbinding on both the anthropological and personal levels. Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is an extraordinarily human account of the Yanomama Indians of the Amazon rain forest, a people who have in the past been rather dehumanized by anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon's Yanomama: The Fierce People (Holt, 1968). Good began working with them in the mid-1970s, living in their communities, studying their lives, and eventually marrying a Yanomama. He does not avoid discussing the violence they are capable of wreaking upon one another, but he sets it within the broader context of love, kindness, and respect that permeates most of their interpersonal lives. This is a personal rather than scholarly account, but it provides such powerful counterpoint to the woefully unfair--but widely circulated--accounts of the Yanomama that it should be made available everywhere.-- Glenn Petersen, Baruch Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.