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Book Title: A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India|
The author of the book: Norman Lewis
Edition: Open Road Media
Date of issue: July 30th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781480433281
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 352 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
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A fascinating portrait of the eclectic tribes of India and the remote regions that they inhabit
In the 1990s, the fifty-four million members of India’s tribal colonies accounted for seven percent of the country’s total population—yet very little about them was recorded. Norman Lewis depicts India’s jungles as being endangered by “progress,” and his sense of urgency in recording what he can about the country’s distinct tribes results in a compelling and engaging narrative. From the poetic Muria people whose diet includes monkeys, red ants, and crocodiles, to the tranquil mountain tribes who may be related to the Australian Aborigines, to the naked Mundas people who may shoot, with bow and arrow, anyone who laughs in their direction, Lewis chronicles the unique characteristics of the many tribes that find their way of life increasingly threatened by the encroachment of modernity.
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Read information about the authorNorman Lewis was a prolific British writer best known for his travel writing. Though not widely known, "Norman Lewis is one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century", according to Graham Greene.
Lewis served in World War II and wrote an account of his experiences during the Allied occupation of Italy, titled Naples '44. Shortly after the war he produced volumes about Burma, titled Golden Earth, and French Indochina, titled A Dragon Apparent. His intrepid boots-on-the-ground view of Vietnam under French colonial domination, without being itself a political rant, gives context to any discussion of the American experience in that battered and subjugated part of the world.
Lewis was fascinated by cultures which were little touched by the modern world. This was reflected in his books on travels in Indonesia, An Empire of the East, and among the tribal peoples of India, A Goddess in the Stones.
Lewis's first wife, Ernestina, was a Swiss-Sicilian aristocrat, and Sicilian life, including the Mafia, was another of his major themes, reflected in The Honoured Society and In Sicily. His treatment of the Mafia was not sensationalist but based on an acute understanding of Sicilian society and a deep sympathy with the sufferings of the Sicilian people, without losing sight of the horrors inflicted by the organization.
Another major concern of Lewis's was the impact of missionary activity on tribal societies in Latin America and elsewhere. He was hostile to the activities of missionaries, especially American evangelicals. This is covered in the volume, Among the Missionaries and several shorter pieces. He frequently said that he regarded his life's major achievement as the worldwide reaction to writing on tribal societies in South America. In 1968, his article "Genocide in Brazil", published in the Sunday Times, created such an outcry that it led to the creation of the organisation Survival International, dedicated to the protection of first peoples around the world.
Lewis wrote several volumes of autobiography, again concerned primarily with his observations of the many places in which he lived at various times, which included St Catherine's Island in South Wales near Tenby, the Bloomsbury district of London during World War II, Nicaragua, a Spanish fishing village, and a village near Rome.
Lewis also wrote twelve novels. Some of these enjoyed significant success at the time of publication, but his reputation rests mainly on his travel writing.
He died in Saffron Walden, Essex, survived by his third wife, Lesley, and their son, Gawaine, and two daughters, Kiki and Samara, and by a son, Gareth, and daughter, Karen, from his second marriage with Hester, and by a son, Ito, from his first marriage. His second son Gareth has recently had a novel published called 'Deceit
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