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Secret Places: My Life in New York and New Guinea (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies) Hardcover – September 1, 2000

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Frequently Bought Together

Secret Places:  My Life in New York and New Guinea (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies) + Where the Spirits Dwell: An Odyssey in the Jungle of New Guinea + Keep the River on Your Right
Price for all three: $44.75

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Product Details

  • Series: Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299169901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299169909
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Schneebaum offers an entirely new and fresh form of ethnography–poetic, passionate, and personal. Secret Places distills his life's work into a compelling narrative and celebrates his love affair with Asmat."
–Nick Stanley, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, University of Central England

From the Publisher

Tobias Schneebaum is the subject of a new documentary film, Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale, by siblings Laurie and David Shapiro. It premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in April 2000, where it received the Critic's Choice Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "whitecranejournal" on September 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In travels through faerie sanctuaries and other exotic lands, I've enjoyed the company of many unusual personalities. One of the most memorable is Tobias Schneebaum. Reading his latest book, Secret Places, has increased my sense of awe at the uniqueness of this man.
Toby's fame results largely from a brief encounter (an unpleasantly personal encounter) with cannibalism in the 1950s. His free-wheeling explorations of the Amazon region, searching for a life more meaningful than accumulating money and possessions, led to an extended visit with the little-known Akarama tribe. Toby bonded strongly with the indigenous tribal men, who had little or no experience of modern culture. He found himself embraced as a temporary memory of the tribe, and was included both in headhunting expeditions and same-sex celebrations of body and spirit. On one occasion, a traditional ceremony culminated in eating the heart of a captured warrior from a neighboring tribe; it would have been impolite (and probably dangerous) to decline.
His first book chronicling these and other adventures, Keep The River On Your Right, was published in 1969, and the book soon became a cult classic. Schneebaum became a rather unlikely, and somewhat notorious, celebrity. (Recently, the story has been retold and updated in a fascinating documentary film of the same name, now available on DVD and video - highly recommended.)
Toby's latest book, Secret Places, is one of a series of gay and Lesbian autobiographies from the University of Wisconsin Press. About half the book consists of detailed and fascinating stories of Toby's adventures with the Asmat people of New Guinea. It is probably no coincidence that he describes Asmat stories and myths as "not following any particular pattern.
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