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A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed (edition 2013)

by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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132723,089 (5)None
Member:Dickco
Title:A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed
Authors:Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2013), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Biography ollection, Non Fiction collection, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Autobiography

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A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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Seeing the world with all its varied peoples and animals through the observant eyes of literary naturalist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is both mind-altering and deeply satisfying. This memoir includes many phases of Thomas’s life, from her fascination with wildlife as a young girl, through her child-rearing years in far flung and sometimes dangerous locations, to her writing career which continues today, but for me the book really took off in chapter four where she wrote about her experiences as a college-age woman in the Kalahari Desert living among the Bushmen, about whom very little was known at the time. Since Thomas’s life has been long and varied, I enjoyed some sections of her book more than others, but her wit, candor, embrace of experience, and open-minded explorations made all of it worth reading.

There is a whole chapter near the end of the book on her writing process--including her personal rules, one of which I just broke with these dashes--and it’s just as absorbing as her global adventures. I haven’t yet read anything else by Thomas, but based on the quality of writing and thought in this memoir I plan to. She’s authored books about animals, including The Social Life of Dogs and The Tribe of the Tiger, books about the Bushmen, including The Old Way and The Harmless People, and two novels set in stone age Siberia that some Amazon reviewers, disappointed with the Clan of the Cave Bear series, have loved. Not interested in retiring just yet, Thomas reports that a third stone age novel will be her next writing project. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Aug 5, 2013 |
She is my first love but except for reading much of her output her life for 60 years was unknown to me. So it was a revelation to see it all come together and learn what might have hardened another.
The events are enthralling, her love of family captivating, her technique and description fulfilling. Her strength fulfilled me.
I want more of her soul than her private self released. ( )
  Dickco | Mar 5, 2013 |
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Haiku summary
First love of my youth
Recalls life well observed
Closeness comes with age

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547763956, Hardcover)

One of our greatest literary naturalists turns her famed observational eye on herself in this captivating memoir.
  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 just in time for Idi Amin’s bloody revolution. 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 self-taught woman, an icon of American letters.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:31:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Recounts experiences from the author's life, from her early years in 1950s South-West Africa and her family expedition to the Kalahari Desert to the births of her children and her witness to Idi Amin's revolution in Uganda.

(summary from another edition)

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