Ken Harper Give Me My Father's Body

ISBN 13: 9781861972521

Give Me My Father's Body

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9781861972521: Give Me My Father's Body

The compelling and tragic story of the life of Minik, the New York Eskimo Minik, the lone survivor of six Inuit taken from their Greenland home to New York in 1897, lived a short, unhappy life. To famed Robert Peary, the Arctic explorer he was but a 'live specimen'. In New York the Eskimos were displayed to a paying public like freaks. Four of them, including Minik's father, soon died and Minik was set adrift. He found out his father's bones on display in the Natural History Museum. This makes morbidly fascinating reading. Much of the story is seen through Eskimo eyes. It's a gut-wrenching account of cultural imperialism and survival. Despite being cut off from his people, his language, and his sense of belonging, Minik never surrendered his hope of going home.

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Review:

At last returning to print, Give Me My Father's Body is the thought-provoking tale of Minik, a young Inuit boy brought to New York by Robert Peary around the turn of the 20th century. Told simply and interspersed with personal letters and newspaper clippings, the book examines Minik's life both as a cross-cultural meeting place and a deeply personal search for a place to call "home." Photographs throughout of Minik give a glimpse into the incredible differences between the multiple worlds he inhabited, and how impossible it must have been to live in these worlds successfully. The title derives from one of Minik's more harrowing experiences--finding his father's bones displayed in a natural-history museum as a "curiosity"--and his attempts to retrieve the bones for a more respectful burial. Author Kenn Harper, while including many facts and articles about Arctic exploration, refrains from sharing opinions about the various explorers or their methods, choosing to share this story--and his years of research--plainly. From the death of Minik's birth father to the financial ruin of his American foster family, the events of Minik's childhood seem like one disaster after another, and his adulthood--the successful return to Greenland, followed by disappointment and a subsequent return to New York--is an unhappy struggle to find some kind of personal fulfillment. Questions of racial and cultural differences make an inescapable larger framework for Minik's life, and the emotions brought forward in answering those questions make reading this book a powerful experience. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

For more than thirty years, Kenn Harper has lived in Eskimo communities in the Baffin Region and in Qaanaaq, Greenland. He has worked as a teacher, development officer, historian, linguist, and businessman. He speaks Inuktitut, the Eskimo language of the eastern Canadian Arctic, and has written extensively on northern history and the Inuktitut language. He now lives in Iqaluit, capital of the new Arctic territory of Nunavut, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

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Ken Harper
Editorial: PROFILE BOOKS LTD (2000)
ISBN 10: 1861972520 ISBN 13: 9781861972521
Nuevos Paperback Primera edición Cantidad: 1
Librería
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción PROFILE BOOKS LTD, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1861972520

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