The Accidental Anthropologist

Author(s): Michael Jackson

Biographies & Memoirs

THE ACCIDENTAL ANTHROPOLOGIST is a fascinating, impeccably written memoir, or more accurately, a series of fragments. Compelling and absorbing as well as intense and insightful, Jackson writes a far from classically autoÃÂíbiographical text. There is nothing predictable about the mode or incidents he has chosen to write about: this is literary memoir at its best and most inventive.
Jackson has a fascination with the concept of personal metamorphosis, the idea that a life can be dismantled and reassembled in a different country and set of relationÃÂíships. And throughout the story the author makes a pretty good fist of living the theory.
The intimacy of the first chapter âÃÂÃÂIntensive CareâÃÂàengages the reader immediately. JacksonâÃÂÃÂs experiences begin with his earnest portrayal of young adulthood in Wellington where he associates on the fringes with many of the literary figures of the early 60s, Bob Lowry, Fleur Adcock, James K. Baxter, R.A.K. Mason and the artist McCahon. Jackson finds himself homeless in London where heâÃÂÃÂs drawn to help the poor and eventually finds his way to Cambridge where he stumbles upon anthropology. His subsequent ethnographic fieldwork takes him to the Congo, Sierra Leone, and outback Australia.
Jackson makes it clear that our lives are barely our own, they belong as much to the people, the landscapes, the influences of thought and ideology that absorb us. He excells at the intensely personal and captivates with this masterful work. THE ACCIDENTAL ANTHROPOLOGIST is a challenging and magnificent memoir; much of it is spellbinding, astute and disquieting. First published 2006.

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Product Information

The author: Internationally-acclaimed anthropologist and award-winning poet and novelist MICHAEL JACKSON was born in Nelson and educated at the universities of Auckland and Cambridge (UK). He has travelled widely, worked in a variety of jobs and has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in the Sierra Leone and Aboriginal Australia. He is presently Distinguished Visiting Professor in World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, in the US.

General Fields

  • : 9781877361470
  • : Longacre Press
  • : Longacre Press
  • : 0.584
  • : June 2006
  • : 234mm X 153mm X 31mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Michael Jackson
  • : Paperback
  • : 301.092
  • : 352
  • : b&w photos