Yaya's Story: The Quest For Well-being In The World

Paperback | October 8, 2014

byPaul Stoller

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Yaya’s Story is a book about Yaya Harouna, a Songhay trader originally from Niger who found a path to America. It is also a book about Paul Stoller—its author—an American anthropologist who found his own path to Africa. Separated by ethnicity, language, profession, and culture, these two men’s lives couldn’t be more different. But when they were both threatened by a grave illness—cancer—those differences evaporated, and the two were brought to profound existential convergence, a deep camaraderie in the face of the most harrowing of circumstances. Yaya’s Story is that story.
           
Harouna and Stoller would meet in Harlem, at a bustling African market where Harouna built a life as an African art trader and Stoller was conducting research. Moving from Belayara in Niger to Silver Spring, Maryland, and from the Peace Corps to fieldwork to New York, Stoller recounts their separate lives and how the threat posed by cancer brought them a new, profound, and shared sense of meaning. Combining memoir, ethnography, and philosophy through a series of interconnected narratives, he tells a story of remarkable friendship and the quest for well-being. It’s a story of difference and unity, of illness and health, a lyrical reflection on human resiliency and the shoulders we lean on.    

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From the Publisher

Yaya’s Story is a book about Yaya Harouna, a Songhay trader originally from Niger who found a path to America. It is also a book about Paul Stoller—its author—an American anthropologist who found his own path to Africa. Separated by ethnicity, language, profession, and culture, these two men’s lives couldn’t be more different. But when...

Paul Stoller is professor of anthropology at West Chester University. He is the author of many books, most recently Stranger in the Village of the Sick and The Power of the Between, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press. 

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:October 8, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022617882X

ISBN - 13:9780226178820

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue: The Story of Yaya’s Story

PART ONE: A LIFE STORY IN COMMERCE
1    Belayara
2    Three Brothers and the Work of Art
3    New York City and Transnational Trade

PART TWO: A LIFE STORY IN ANTHROPOLOGY
4    Silver Spring
5    Stumbling into Anthropology in Niger
6    New York City, Immigration, and the Warehouse

PART THREE: AWAKENINGS
7    The Shadow of Sickness
8    Three Years in the Shadows
9    A Remarkable Convergence

Epilogue: The Quest for Well-Being in the World

Personae
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“For almost thirty years Stoller has been in the vanguard of a movement to make anthropology answerable to life as lived, to construe ethnographic praxis as a vision quest rather than simply an exercise in instrumental reason, and to make ethnography accessible, reflexive, and critical. Yaya’s Story exemplifies all these hallmarks of Stoller’s project and brings home to us the enduring value of engaging the lifeworlds of others with soul as well as intellect, as apprentices as well as interpreters, so that, at the end of the day, our work may attest to remarkable ‘existential convergences’ and ‘mutual understandings’ that partially eclipse radical cultural, circumstantial, and linguistic differences.”