Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $75.00
  • Save: $6.04 (8%)
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by eroush8
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This is a used book with no highlights and markings. Cover has wear . I want to thank you for looking at my item
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
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

Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home Hardcover – November 28, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0231146524 ISBN-10: 0231146523 Edition: 0th

Buy New
Price: $68.96
19 New from $16.87 31 Used from $1.77 2 Collectible from $37.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$68.96
$16.87 $1.77
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (November 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231146523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231146524
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ann Armbrecht has written an intricate, smart, soulful story about the shape-shifting boundaries between culture and landscape; people and place. But Thin Places is much more than travel writing rooted in Nepal. It is a brave rendering of what happens when we allow our intellect to bow to our instincts and recognize love for what it is: a transformative pilgrimage requiring great courage and generosity of spirit, including forgiveness. We learn that integrity and intimacy with the land is in direct proportion to maintaining intimacy with each other. As an anthropologist, Armbrecht is trustworthy and revelatory in her patterned thinking. As a writer, she is an elegant and tempered voice exposing the truth of our relations with a very sharp pencil." --Terry Tempest Williams, author of Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Poignant, fragile memoir by social anthropologist Armbrecht (Settlements of Hope: An Account of Tibetan Refugees in Nepal, 1989) chronicles her search for the sacred in work and family.Trained at Harvard, the author ventured to rural southeastern Nepal during the 1990s to study the relationship between the villagers and their land use in a region bordering a new national park. Her developing connection with these hard-laboring, superstitious people transformed not only her research but the way she resolved to live her life. During an 18-month stint of research for her doctorate, Armbrecht lived among the Yamphu Rai people in Hedangna, a remote village in the Makalu-Barun region. "I wanted to understand their perspectives on the area's recent designation as a conservation area," she writes. "I was also there because I wanted to discover how to live more simply and more lightly on the earth." The initially wary villagers began to accept and befriend her, and she eventually grasped the complicated significance of kipat. This Nepali word describes plots of land that were cleared by ancestors and passed along; the boundaries between individual plots depended on the relationships between landowners rather than on the "law." Gradually, Armbrecht's connections with the Yamphu Rai became the point of her research; they served to underscore the lack of true intimacy with her husband back home in Cambridge. Feeling isolated from the culture she returned to, the author gropes to express what went wrong in her marriage, frequently stumbling into murky self-pity. The birth and all-consuming care of a daughter helped her achieve clarity, as well as her study of herbal medicine, which offered Armbrecht a "tradition rooted in my own physical and cultural landscape," similar to what she had witnessed in the lives of women in Hedangna. Through her work, she makes a valiant attempt to be true to herself while maintaining a reverence for the ground she inhabits, along with the rest of humanity.A difficult, intensely interior journey, both anthropological and emotional. (Kirkus Reviews)

"Thin Places's double-stranded discourse very subtly advances, in the same breath, reflections on our ties to others and to the environment. It becomes clear to the reader that both sets of relations imply similar efforts, challenges, and forms of communication, with a great deal at stake all around."

Review

"Thin Places's double-stranded discourse very subtly advances, in the same breath, reflections on our ties to others and to the environment. It becomes clear to the reader that both sets of relations imply similar efforts, challenges, and forms of communication, with a great deal at stake all around."

"Thin Places's double-stranded discourse very subtly advances, in the same breath, reflections on our ties to others and to the environment. It becomes clear to the reader that both sets of relations imply similar efforts, challenges, and forms of communication, with a great deal at stake all around."

More About the Author

Ann Armbrecht is an anthropologist and writer. She is the co-producer of the documentary, Numen: the Nature of Plants, and is working on a new project following medicinal plants through the supply chain.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
20
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 22 customer reviews
The questions she asks will resonate with anyone who has traveled or longed to.
C. M. Cory
It is a beautifully written book, rich and multi-layered, an exploration across cultures and into the depths of the self.
Hannah Brooks
Ann Armbrecht tells an extraordinary story of a quest to discover deep truths about the world and herself.
Nina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By wildearth on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ann Armbrecht shares with us the rarest kind of journey: her account as an anthropologist of years spent living in a small community in one of the wildest parts of Nepal, and at the very same time, and even more importantly, a journey deep into herself. She walks a challenging and at times tortuous road, but her grit and heart carry her home to her deepest self. This is no ordinary anthropologist's tale -- but rather a true tale of a gradual and gentle awakening, an unmasking of all that we deem so important, a journey to the core of who she is, and who we all are. HIghly recommended! A word of advice: the book starts off slowly, be patient, because after the first 50 pages or so it takes off like a rocket, arcing higher and higher, deeper and deeper... and oh yes, the *chapter* Thin Places is worth the price of admission alone...
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
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! It wasn't a book that I read quickly, but instead savored as her story drew me in deeper and deeper. Armbrecht writes beautifully- in fact I found myself doing something I NEVER do- underlining passages that resonated with me and passages that were so wonderfully written that I want to come back again and again. I highly recommend this book, and in fact keep thinking of more of my friends who will love having this on their 'must read' list!
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 Terry Osborne on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Ann Armbrecht's beautiful memoir is like an herbal healing, showing us one way that a deep and persistent longing can guide us all home. But the way home, like any overdue healing, is never easy. It begins with painful honesty; it leads to a search for meaning in remote places; it requires losing dear people and ideas and things you didn't ever imagine losing; it means learning the hardest skill of all: to "see double"--to recognize how the visible world is always infused with the invisible, the mundane with the sacred, the personal with the universal. It means seeing that everyplace is a thin, whole place. If you can see that way, you can understand that what you were longing for, what you gave up so much for, what you went to Nepal and across your own country to find, was with you all the time. It's a remedy each of us can concoct for ourselves, but it helps to be guided, as Armbrecht has so generously done here.
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kent on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up "Thin Places," I was afraid that a book about an anthropologist's field study in Nepal was going to be too academic for me. But after reading the first paragraph, I knew I was in for something completely different. Armbrecht's prose is often poetic, and her story grabbed me from the outset.

"Thin Places" is a remarkable story that tells not only of the lives and hardships of villagers in one of the most remote corners of the earth, but also is a moving journey of the author's self discovery and her efforts to reconcile how to live in a world threatened by overdevelopment and loss of meaning.

A young, Harvard-educated American woman, Armbrecht embraced her work in Nepal not as a privileged outsider but as one intent on living in the village in order to work and learn. Her courage and tenacity are remarkable. She learned to speak the language, lived and worked for almost two years in the most primitive conditions, hiked for days in bare feet on a treacherous pilgrimage to holy caves high in the Himalayas, and later faced her own demons on returning to the United States.

I like to read books about people who are both strong and vulnerable, and Armbrecht is one of them -an inspiration to all trying to find their way in a world where people are losing their connecting to the earth, and with it, an irreplaceable part of themselves. Highly recommended.
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthropology Professor on May 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thin Places is one of the most honest books you will ever read. The writing is gorgeous, deep, insightful, and provocative. You will learn as much about Nepal and land tenure and coming to know another culture, as you will about love and relationships and community and trust and human frailty. This is anthropology written for everyone, for exploring who we are as individuals rooted in cultures. This book has so much to offer for both one's own inner reflection and also for group dialogue and debate that I chose to teach it to one of my undergraduate anthropology classes this past semester. A lively, productive, and deep discussion ensued, one that allowed us to get at one of the hardest questions of anthropology: how to address the transformation of the self through the ethnographic experience. For several of the students, it was a life-changing book. Read it, travel to Nepal and back with Armbrecht, and enjoy.
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
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By U. Searle on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Only a few people in this world have the courage, the skill and the discipline to create a work such as this. This honest personal account of study, adventure and turmoil creates many wonderful avenues for thought. Thin Places is a diary of Ann's ongoing experiences interwoven with gems of writing that can only come from true reflection and a yearning for understanding. Be sure to have a pen in hand so you can return again and again to your favorite passages. Thank you Ann for sharing, you will touch many and everyone will be better for the experience.
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 6 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Williams on January 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Vermont-based anthropologist Ann Armbrecht's Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home is one of the more ambitious books I've read in some time.

The title refers to the fragile sacredness of those spaces "in between" - and Armbrecht's book, at first glance a scholarly-sounding travel narrative of sorts, ultimately operates on the patient reader in a much more profound way, and at a number of different levels.

The writer chronicles her time spent during the 1990s deepening her understanding of the Yamphu Rai people of northeastern Nepal as they experienced a time of significant cultural and economic transformation. She also considers how her physical, spiritual and intellectual journeys shed light on her own personal and cultural circumstances. As a writer, Armbrecht has a gift for fusing her anthropological background with her own sense of history - as a Westerner, a married woman, and an academic - and the results impressive: by turns didactic, discerning, and deeply moving.

As Armbrecht acknowledges in her story, Westerners have a tendency to romanticize the eastern Other - and Nepal is a much-misunderstood region of the world, one to which Westerners attach their own emotional and spiritual baggage. What Armbrecht discovers on her sojourns, particularly in her focus on the women of the Yamphu Rai, is a sort of shared restlessness, rather than a place-centered groundedness often attributed, perhaps simplistically, to indigenous peoples.

When Armbrecht weaves the stories of the Yamphu Rai together with her own struggles - as a scholar, as a woman in a new and ultimately unsatisfying marriage relationship, as a Westerner trying to transcend a wide variety of cultural differences - she ultimately finds common ground with the individuals who inform her work.
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


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?