"We need to understand our stories because our lives depend upon it." -- Ted Chamberlin
The stories we tell each other reflect and shape our deepest feelings. Stories help us live our lives -- and are at the heart of our current conflicts. We love and hate because of them; we make homes for ourselves and drive others out on the basis of ancient tales. As Ted Chamberlin vividly reveals, we are both connected by them and separated by their different truths. Whether Jew or Arab, black or white, Muslim or Christian, Catholic or Protestant, man or woman, our stories hold us in thrall and hold others at bay.
Like the work of Joseph Campbell and Bruce Chatwin, this vital, engrossing book offers a new way to understand the hold that stories and songs have on us, and a new sense of the urgency of doing so. Drawing on his own experience in many fields -- as scholar and storyteller, witness among native peoples and across cultures -- Ted Chamberlin takes us on a journey through the tales of different peoples, from North America to Africa and Jamaica.
Beautifully written, with insight and deep understanding, If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? examines why it is now more important than ever to attend to what others are saying in their stories and myths -- and what we are saying about ourselves. Only then will we understand why they have such power over us.
From the Hardcover edition.
Ever since the dawn of human history, islands have been at the heart of our desires - and our fears. Drawing on anthropology, literature, biology, art, philosophy and earth science, Island tells the groundbreaking story of humans and islands throughout history, and celebrates islands as a central part of the world we live in. With a unique cross-disciplinary approach, encompassing everything from the wonder of an island's flora and fauna, to the geological roots of island formations, via references to popular culture, poetry and literature (including Prospero, Gulliver, Robinson Crusoe and the Count of Monte Cristo), Chamberlin tells the vivid and absorbing story of how islands have shaped human history, society and culture. Island celebrates islands for all their worth, whether real or invented, literal or fictitious, as a central part of the human narrative.