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My Ishmael
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About the Author

Daniel Quinn grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and studied at St. Louis University, the University of Vienna, and Loyola University of Chicago. He worked in Chicago-area publishing for twenty years before beginning work on the book for which he is best known, Ishmael. In 1991, this book was chosen from among some 2,500 international entrants in the Turner Tomorrow competition to win the half-million dollar prize for a novel offering "creative and positive solutions to global problems." It has subsequently sold more than a million copies in English, is available in some thirty languages, and has been used in high schools and colleges worldwide in courses as varied as philosophy, geography, ecology, archaeology, history, biology, zoology, anthropology, political science, economics, and sociology. Subsequent works include Providence, The Story of B, My Ishmael: A Sequel, Beyond Civilization, After Dachau, The Holy, At Woomeroo, The Invisibility of Success, and The Teachings. Daniel Quinn died in 2018.

Reviews

In this sequel to Quinn's controversial best seller, Ishmael, the telepathic gorilla has another pupil intent on saving the world: 12-year-old Julie Gerchak.

"Enthralling, shocking, hope-filled, and utterly fearless, Quinn leads us deeper and deeper into the human heart, history, and spirit. Thank God the gorilla is back! In My Ishmael, Quinn strikes out into entirely new territory, posing questions that will rock you on your heels, and providing tantalizing possibilities for a truly new world vision."
--Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers & Healers

"Irresistible...[Quinn's] ideas are as thought-provoking as ever."
--Kirkus Reviews

In 1989, Ted Turner offered a $500,000 fellowship for a work of fiction that offered positive solutions to global problems. Out of 2500 entries worldwide, Quinn's quirky first novel, Ishmael, won the prize (which after some controversy, was never awarded again). The book featured a wise, telepathic gorilla who engaged in Socratic dialogue with a young man, teaching him how he could help save the world from its self-destructive path. In this predictable sequel, disenchanted 12-year-old Julie Gerchak responds to a classified ad: "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world." So begins a 300-page lecture by a silverback gorilla who expounds his theories on the suicidal plunge of contemporary culture (the Takers) and his belief that learning from tribal cultures (the Leavers) is our only path to survival. The simian scholar tries to distill thousands of years of human wisdom and experience into a few simplistic preachments and parables. Despite the author's claim that Julie represents a new challenge to Ishmael, the little girl is no Phaedrus, and in any case the gorilla hardly seems to need an interlocutor. His reflections are a novel like a two-by-four is a pine tree. Fans will buy; others may content themselves with the Web site. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)

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