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A New York Times Notable Book of 1994! Highly respected author, philosopher, and animal trainer Vicki Hearne offers a treasure trove of animal anecdotes, all written in her unique and poetic style. Through entertaining stories about cats, horses, an ornamental carp, a scorpion, and tortoises, Hearne focuses on how each of these various creatures experiences happiness in its own special way. She takes issue with Ludwig Wittgenstein on lions and language, discusses the naming of pets, and considers the process of mourning a loved dog's death.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's first novel, an international best seller, drew praise of the highest kind. "[Reindeer Moon] deserves a place of distinction, right at the head of the line, of the great series of 'historical' novels," wrote the late Joseph Campbell. It was published in fourteen languages and won a Hemingway Award Citation. The Animal Wife may well rank by its side, for this new novel shares half a world with its predecessor. Whereas Reindeer Moon saw the life of prehistoric humankind through the eyes of Yanan, a gifted but rebellious woman, The Animal Wife, which takes place a few years later, is narrated by young Kori, a marvelous hunter, as prodigious in the chase as he is ignorant of the ways of women. Yet Kori too is confined by his society, interdependent as it is with the world of animals. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's greatest talent is to identify with, to become, an animal, as a great hunter does; and animals provide Kori's people with nearly all their religious and spiritual symbols, nearly all their tools and weapons, nearly everything, except desire. Kori is full of desire and aspiration--the aspiration to be as great a hunter as his father, Swift; the desire for a woman of his own. Few readers of this book will ever forget the scene in which Kori, hunting in strange country for the site of a mysterious campfire, finds, swimming in a pond, what he imagines to be an animal but which turns out to be a naked woman; acting on instinct only, he instantly abducts her and makes her his wife.
Employing a unique combination of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and dog training theory, Vicki Hearne recounts her experiences with Bandit, a dog deemed so dangerous that the state of Connecticut condemned him to death. Hearne rescued Bandit and was soon entrenched in a legal battle that extended well beyond his case as she fought to prove that no dog is inherently vicious. She quickly discovered the factors that contributed to Bandit's behavior and set about releasing the essentially "good dog" that lay within.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent a lifetime observing other creatures and other cultures, from her own backyard to the African savannah. Her bestselling books The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Tribe of Tiger, among others, have transported millions of readers into the mysterious lives of animals. Now she transports us into her own remarkable life and delivers a memoir that is both insightful and inspirational. Dreaming of Lions traces Thomas's life from her earliest days, including when, as a young woman in the 1950s, she and her family traveled to the Kalahari Desert to study the Ju/Wa Bushmen The experience taught her not only how to observe but also how to navigate male-dominated fields like anthropology and animal science and to do what she cared about most: spending time with animals and people in wild places, and relishing the people and animals around her at home. Readers join Thomas as she returns to Africa, married and with children, ending up in the turmoil leading to Idi Amin's bloody coup. Throughout this memoir, she invites us into her family life, her writing, and her fascination with animals--elephants in Namibia, dogs in her kitchen, and cougars near her farmhouse in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. She also recounts personal struggles, writing about her own life with the same fierce honesty that she applies to the surrounding world.
A study of primitive people which, for beauty of. . . style and concept, would be hard to match. " -- The New York Times Book Review In the 1950s Elizabeth Marshall Thomas became one of the first Westerners to live with the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert in Botswana and South-West Africa. Her account of these nomadic hunter-gatherers, whose way of life had remained unchanged for thousands of years, is a ground-breaking work of anthropology, remarkable not only for its scholarship but for its novelistic grasp of character. On the basis of field trips in the 1980s, Thomas has now updated her book to show what happened to the Bushmen as the tide of industrial civilization -- with its flotsam of property rights, wage labor, and alcohol -- swept over them. The result is a powerful, elegiac look at an endangered culture as well as a provocative critique of our own. "The charm of this book is that the author can so truly convey the strangeness of the desert life in which we perceive human traits as familiar as our own. . . . The Harmless People is a model of exposition: the style very simple and precise, perfectly suited to the neat, even fastidious activities of a people who must make their world out of next to nothing. " -- The Atlantic
Long before the Dog Whisperer, anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas revealed to readers the nature of pack dynamics, leading to a completely new understanding of dogs and their desires. In this fascinating account, based on thirty years of living with and observing dogs, we meet Misha, a friend's husky, whom Thomas followed on his daily rounds of more than 130 square miles, and who ultimately provided the simple and surprising answer to the question What do dogs want most? Not food, not sex, but other dogs. We also meet Maria, who adored Misha, bore his puppies, and clearly mourned when he moved away; the brave pug Bingo and his little wife, Violet; the dingo Viva; and the remaining dogs and pups that constitute the pack. "Instead of training and obedience, [Thomas] offers as an alternative a world of 'trust and mutual obligation'" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). When it was first published in hardcover, The Hidden Life of Dogs spent over a year on the New York Times Bestseller list. This Mariner paperback edition will include a new afterword by the author.
One of our greatest literary naturalists turns her famed observational eye on herself in this captivating memoir. How is it that an untrained, self-taught observer and writer could see things that professional anthropologists often missed? How is that a pioneering woman, working in male-dominated fields, without sponsors or credentials, could accomplish more than so many more celebrated and professionally educated men could manage? How can we all unlock the wisdom of the world simply by paying close attention? With their intelligence and acute insight into other cultures and species, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's many books have won a wide and loving audience. In A Million Years with You, this legendary author shares stories from her life, showing how a formative experience in South West Africa (now Namibia) in the 1950s taught her how to pay attention to the ancient wisdom of animals and humankind. As a young woman, Marshall Thomas joined her family on an anthropological expedition to the Kalahari Desert, where she conducted fieldwork among the Ju/wa Bushmen, later publishing her findings as The Harmless People. After college, a wedding, and the birth of two children, she returned to Uganda shortly before Idi Amin's bloody coup. Her skills as an observer and a writer would be put to the test on many other occasions working with dogs, cats, cougars, deer--and with more personal struggles. A Million Years with You is a powerful memoir from a pioneering woman, an icon of American letters.
The distinguished British man of letters J. R. Ackerley hardly thought of himself as a dog lover when, well into middle age, he came into possession of a German shepherd. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the "ideal friend" he had been searching for in vain for years. My Dog Tulip is a bittersweet retrospective account of their sixteen-year companionship, as well as a profound and subtle meditation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, Ackerley tells of Tulip's often erratic behavior and very canine tastes, and of his own fumbling but determined efforts to ensure for her an existence of perfect happiness.Paul and Sandra Fierlinger's animated feature film of My Dog Tulip, starring Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini, was released in 2010.
Reindeer Moon opens up corridors to the imagination that lead us back toward our human past. The heroine departs on spirited journeys that evoke the lives of animals with intimacy.
From the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Tribe of Tiger comes a groundbreaking work on canine consciousness and how dogs become family Moving from Virginia to New Hampshire is a change not only for Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and her husband, but also for their three elderly dogs. A classically trained anthropologist, Thomas observes the way in which Suessi, Fatima, and Inookshook acclimate to a new house and new adventure. Over the years, as the dogs grow older and new ones are taken in, Thomas analyzes their behavior and personalities. What makes dogs react uniformly to certain situations? To what extent do they comprehend human dialogue? With every sniff of the dogs' noses and every wag of their tails, Thomas builds an impressive understanding of canine reaction and affection, and of the ways dogs support those they regard as one of their own.
This quote comes from the book jacket. "In her absorbing bestseller, The Hidden Life of Dogs, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas provided fascinating answers to the question "What do dogs want?" It turns out that more than anything, they want the company of other dogs. Now, in this frank and moving sequel, she explores how, despite this desire, they have beautifully adapted to life with their human owners. If they can't belong to a group with similar dogs, they will establish or join one with other members of the household, whether those members are men, women, children, other dogs of different ages and breeds, cats, or birds. And, contrary to our assumptions that we wield the power in our relationships with our dogs, it is they who are teaching us new behaviors--even settling disputes in ways we are unaware of. No one writing today about dogs and people has Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's skills as a classically trained anthropologist and popularizer. What she has observed and analyzed will be illuminating to all of us who have wondered about our pets' behavior. Do dogs have different barks that mean different things? How does Snoopy recognize as family people he sees only once a year? And why does Misty bark at strangers she sees every day? What factors contribute to making a dog difficult to house-train? Why do certain dogs and cats get along so well? How do animals train each other? Thomas explores these questions by taking us into the mixed-species groups of her own household, particularly the lives of her remarkable dogs, with their differences in breeding, early training, and personality. Misty, a purebred, had been kept in a crate, alone, for most of her first year; lonely and insecure, she was afraid of grass and stairs, which she had never seen. Ruby was abandoned, having been pronounced untrainable. Pearl had lived with Thomas's son in his large household, and on her arrival at Thomas's house, she behaved like the well-mannered, self-possessed being she was. And Sundog, the most loyal, self-confident, courageous of all, accepted the arrival of each of these new dogs, but had made a group consisting of himself and Thomas's husband, so the others sorted themselves out without him. Each of these dogs, like any other, wanted more than anything to belong to a group, and how they organized themselves into felicitous relationships without any input from their owners is the most compelling of Elizabeth Thomas's many findings. Few dogs get to live with their chosen loved ones; they are slaves to our desires. We convince ourselves, however wrongly, that we know what's best for them. The Social Lives of Dogs presents marvelous evidence of the power of the group. And those of us fortunate enough to be given the trust of any honorable dog will have our lives enlarged."
From the majestic Bengal tiger to the domesticated Siamese comes a meditation on cats from the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Social Lives of Dogs From as far back in time as the disappearance of the dinosaurs, cats have occupied an important place in our evolutionary, social, and cultural history. The family of the cat is as diverse as it is widespread, ranging from the lions, tigers, and pumas of the African and Asian wilds to the domesticated cats of our homes, zoos, and circuses. When she witnesses her housecat, Rajah, effortlessly scare off two fully-grown deer, acclaimed anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas starts studying the links that bind the feline family together. Immersing herself in the subtle differences of their social orders, feeding behaviors, and means of communication, Thomas explores the nature of the cat, both wild and domestic, and the resilient streak that has ensured its survival over thousands of years.
Talks about the cultures of lions, tigers and housecats, among other big and small cats.
The Dodoth "a tall, handsome people of the northern tip of Uganda "are a tribe in transition. They are proud, often cruel, warrior herdsmen whose oldest members live just as they did hundreds of years ago, but whose younger members sometimes learn to read and write and have brushed against the modern world. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas accompanied three anthropological expeditions to Africa and lived among the Dodoth. She displays a remarkable ability to communicate with the tribespeople and describe their lives and customs.
More than anything else, this is a book about love. In this deeply moving account, you will hear about Rambo, a sheep who informs the staff when another animal is in trouble; and Paulie, a former cockfighting rooster who eats lunch with humans; Dino, an old toothless pony who survived a fire; and many more. Alongside these horses, roosters, pigs, sheep, rabbits, cows, and other animals is a staff of loving humans for whom every animal life, even that of a frog rushed to the vet for emergency surgery, has merit. Reading this book can profoundly-and joyously-change your life.
As the popularity of Marley & Me attests, people love their dogs?and everyone else?s too. For all the time spent on grooming, petting, and other care?it?s as if owning a dog is a religion unto itself. Woof! brings together original essays from acclaimed writers ruminating on the sometimes tumultuous, often selfless love affair between human and dog. Alternately poignant and hilarious, these collected stories of mutts and purebreds alike will win the hearts of the millions who?ve ever loved a member of the world?s most loyal species.
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