Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (Exploited Earth) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.00
  • Save: $3.17 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by ECMC Books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is in good condition with minor rubbing to edges & corners. Cover tends to curl. Binding is tight & square. Interior pages are free from underlining, notes and highlighting. Book is in stock & ready to ship same or next business day. Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Buy with confidence! Please leave feedback after your purchase. It helps other buyers know we are a responsible & reliable seller. Thank you!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman Paperback – September 22, 2000


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$25.83
$10.00 $4.93

Frequently Bought Together

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman + Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village + Neither Man Nor Woman: The Hijras of India
Price for all three: $100.86

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Life with Harper Lee
Invited to live as her neighbor, Marja Mills offer unprecedented insight into the reclusive author's life in The Mockingbird Next Door. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (September 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674004329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674004320
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

When I reread Nisa, as I have done regularly in teaching over the years, I experience its originality, poignancy, and excitement afresh each time. Few books that were so influential in changing the look and feel of ethnography for entire generations of anthropologists have held up so well. It is a classic, with currency and continuing possibility. (George Marcus, Professor of Anthropology, Rice University)

[A] scrupulous, sad, exciting book. (New York Times)

We have a remarkable anthropologist to thank for an absorbing account. (New York Review of Books)

Both Nisa and Shostak are unusual people, and their collaboration has resulted in an unparalleled account of !Kung life from a personal rather than social or ecological perspective. Even more important, their work results in a revelation of the universality of women's experiences and feelings despite vast differences in culture and society. Nisa helps us know what it means to be !Kung, to be a woman, and finally, to be human. (Choice)

Nisa is a humbling and inspiring book. (Tim Jeal Wall Street Journal 2012-09-08)

Review

When I reread Nisa, as I have done regularly in teaching over the years, I experience its originality, poignancy, and excitement afresh each time. Few books that were so influential in changing the look and feel of ethnography for entire generations of anthropologists have held up so well. It is a classic, with currency and continuing possibility.
--George Marcus, Professor of Anthropology, Rice University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
20
4 star
12
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
2
See all 35 customer reviews
It was a very interesting book.
Kimm Lemond
The author does a superb job of blending ethnographic descriptions and interpretations with oral history.
Michael Spivey, Ph.D.
Of the books she assigned, this is the only one I read cover to cover.
Carol A. Addison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ben Anders on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Majorie Shostak's account of her anthropology trip to Africa's Kalahari Desert examining the rituals, lifestyles and existence of the !Kung tribe is not to be read like an expanded version of a National Geographic article. It is written with academic rigor and precise examination of a !Kung woman Nisa. The majority of the book is told through Nisa's words which are translated into English with as much accuracy possible by Shostak. Shostak prefaces each chapter with a more general description of the events of Nisa's life which follow. The !Kung have such a different life style than Westerners, so naturally the story telling methods Nisa uses are a little unfamiliar. There is much more repetition of certain phrases and ideas that some of us might find excessive. If one can get past this they will soon see what an expert Nisa actually is. Also it is a tribute to Shostak that she didn't slice up the narrative to make it more accessible for Westerners.

The book in begun with an extensive introduction, about 40 pages. Although at first this might feel over detailed and cumbersome, it is a necessity to read it before jumping into Nisa's narrative because some of the actions taken might seem unfathomable without a better understanding of !Kung life. For instance, when Nisa describes stealing and hoarding food for herself as a child, we might feel she is extremely selfish. But after reading the introduction we understand that in !Kung life there is virtually no private property. Imagine being a young child and having nothing of "your own." I think we all would have stolen to some extent. Also during the time the book was written there was a struggle within the anthropology communities as to whether these "field work" expeditions we're even worth taking.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By R. Byrd on December 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
You don't have to be an anthropology student to find this book approachable. With Nisa's straight-forward monologues about her life, you could probably finish this book in a day, curled up on a blanket under a tree. That's how I plan to read the sequel.
This book is full of gossip and stories, basically bridging gaps between that of Nisa's world and my own. She's an outsider's insider: just weird enough to be out on the fringes of the !Kung and thus accessible to Shostak. But that becomes a problem later on the book -- Nisa's peers have warned the author that Nisa lies, but it's not until Nisa tells a rather impressive story about herself that Shostak begins to dismiss her as unreliable.
Which makes me think that the only reason Shostak published the book is that she'd spent too much time on Nisa not to. And that's why I'm not giving Shostak's work a full five stars -- I liked Nisa a heck of a lot more than I liked Shostak based on this work.
Is Nisa a liar? Or is the problem that she tells truths that others don't want to face? Whatever your opinion, I think you'll find this book a good read whether or not you have an anthropological background. I still have a copy. :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author's method of giving an anthropologist's perspective on a particular topic followed by Nisa's stories relating to the same topic was a wonderful balance of the scientific and the personal. I enjoyed this book immensely and it made me think deeply of how different are culture is from our roots as hunter-gatherers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vincent D. Pisano on March 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Marjorie Shostak offers readers an interesting and insightful account of her relationship with a member of the !Kung San people of the Kalahari Desert during the early 1970s, a woman known by the pseudonym "Nisa," in her seminal work Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman. The book is a coupling of both Shostak's ethnographic insight and Nisa's life history told in her own words, along with some very interesting photos taken by the author. Shostak admittedly runs into barriers that she must cross, particularly as to whether or not she can trust Nisa, who the rest of the tribe regards as a liar, but really, much can be seen in the lies that people choose to tell as well as the truths. Either way, Nisa's stories are compelling and give the reader a great window into their hunter-gatherer society and the dynamics that make it work. It reveals techniques of tribal socialization and ethic reasoning, the importance of intimacy, as well as offering a model (however debatable it may be) for the ways in which the status of women is compromised by changing demographics.

Nisa's life history account reveals many instances in which can be seen a socialization process that is meant to turn her into a more productive and adaptive person in society. These instances can especially be seen in Nisa's childhood. The !Kung place a high value on sharing in their culture, and Nisa's early tendencies to selfishly covet and hoard food for herself was counterproductive to this ideal. Nisa's mother dealt with her daughter's stealing firmly, often hitting her and screaming such things like, "Nisa, stop stealing! Are you the only one who wants to eat klaru? Now, let me take what's left and cook them for all of us to eat. Did you really think you were the only one who was going to eat them all?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search