In Sorcery's Shadow by Paul Stoller
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In Sorcery's Shadow
By Paul Stoller

In Sorcery's Shadow

Memoir of Apprenticeship Among the Songhay of Niger New edition

By (author) See other recent books by Paul Stoller See other recent books by Cheryl Olkes
Format: Paperback

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In Sorcery's Shadow by Paul Stoller

Book Description

The tale of Paul Stoller's sojourn among sorcerors in the Republic of Niger is a story of growth and change, of mutual respect and understanding that will challenge all who read it to plunge deeply into an alien world.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226775432
ISBN-10: 0226775437
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 150mm x 16mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 1-Feb-1989
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Paul Stoller

Climbing the Mountain by Paul Stoller Climbing the Mountain, Paperback (September 2015)

This book is a user's guide to the cancer experience. In it, the authors present a narrative of a cancer patient who used preparation (research), practice (exercise and activity), and a variety of social supports to live well within the parameters that cancer imposes.

Yaya's Story by Paul Stoller Yaya's Story, Paperback (October 2014)

Combining memoir, ethnography, and philosophy through a series of interconnected narratives, this book tells a story of remarkable friendship and the quest for well-being. It's a story of difference and unity, of illness and health, a lyrical reflection on human resiliency and the shoulders we lean on.

Power of the Between by Paul Stoller Power of the Between, Paperback (January 2009)

It is the anthropologist's fate to always be between things: countries, languages, cultures, even realities. The author celebrates the creative power of the between, showing how it can transform us, changing our conceptions of who we are, what we know, and how we live in the world.

Gallery Bundu by Paul Stoller Gallery Bundu, Paperback (July 2005)

The hastiness of David's decision will shadow his every move for the rest of his life and will lead him to eventually return to Niger and try to make amends. Beautifully written and deeply felt, Gallery Bundu is a cautionary tale about the impulses of youth and the unyielding grip of regret.

» View all books by Paul Stoller


US Kirkus Review » Compelling if somewhat unsettling account of a white American anthropologist's personal experiences with the techniques and effects of a form of present-day African sorcery. Husband-and-wife team Stoller (West Chester U.) and Olkes tell a fast-moving tale of times spent among Songhay peoples in the northwestern comer of Niger, a land replete with vast stretches of sand dunes in skin-blistering heat, mud-brick compounds, drought-stricken agriculture, pythons, egrets, and small towns in which hospitality centers around gifts of goats and chickens. In a series of extended anthropological field trips between 1976 and 1984, Stoller found himself ever more deeply enmeshed not only in learning about but also in participating in older magical power systems that lie beneath the Islamic surface. Practitioners of sorcery in the towns of Mehanna, Tillaberi, and Wanzerbe appeared with perfect timing to instruct him on names and uses of a vast number of magical powders, sacred incantations, animal sacrifices, possession dances, divination by cowry shells, and knowledge of the family of Tooru spirit deities. Portraits of individuals and community lifestyles are deftly drawn, revealing Stoller's deep respect for Songhay culture and the people within it, creating a believable, sometimes humorous, engaging blend of exotic travel and hidden mysteries - with a comforting dose of pragmatic skepticism. Unlike so many contemporary writings, this is not a book about discovering an ancient wisdom of love and compassion; despite some reports of healings and protective spells, it is primarily about the fiercely competitive and spiteful uses of powers that created an attitude of defensive, even paranoid, social interactions so intense that they eventually frightened Stoller enough to call a halt to his participation. A well-written glimpse into a generally unfamiliar world that may shed light on some of the sources of Voodoo and Condomblein the Americas. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Paul Stoller

Paul Stoller is professor of anthropology at West Chester University. He is also a research associate in the department of anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution. Cheryl Olkes is director of Harmattan, a gallery of African arts in Washington, D.C.

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