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African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0415137249
ISBN-10: 0415137241
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Editorial Reviews


In this book, Caplan offers a nuanced response to the 'crisis of representation' loudly decried in the mid-1980s that problematized ethnographic author-ity and advocated the decolonization of anthropological writing. Relinquishing authorship to those whose voices had been captured and squeezed into theoretical models irrespective of fit offered an ethical solution, it was argued, to the problem Journal of Asian And African Studies.
...the book remains an exciting experiment in ethnographic representation and provides a vivid glimpse into the lives of three complex and often contradictory Swahili individuals.
Africa Today, July-Dec, 1998

About the Author

Pat Caplan is Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmith's College, University of London, and is author of Gendered Fields (1993).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (March 23, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415137241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415137249
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,259,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a very interesting read if you are interested in the culture of East Africa, are studying anthropology or are thinking of travelling in the region. Pat Caplan writes the book in easy to understand language making it accessible to all and the life history of her key subject, Mohammed, who lives on Mafia Island off the Tanzanian mainland is fascinating. Because she has studied and visited the island on several occassions she has developed a close relationship with him, and so s is able to really get to grips with life on the island. It was her changing relationship with him and other members of his family that most interested me and her book is definately one of the most interesting in depth writings on East Africa.
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