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Songs at the River's Edge

Part autobiography, part travelogue, part anthropological study, this is an account of a Western woman living in a Muslim Bangladeshi village for 18 months. On an anthropological level, it demonstrates the beginnings of research in someone else's society, on a more general level, it can be read as a novel or a piece of travel writing. The author writes about the friends she made, the characters she met, the rituals she witnessed, about Islam as practised in that village, and about women living in Purdah. She describes trying, as a Western woman, to live the life of the village women.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword 1. September Arrival 2. The Lives that Allah Gives 3. Hushnia gets married 4. A Woman's Place 5. The Lives that Allah Takes 6. Roukea buys a new Sari 7. Stories of the Spirits 8. Storms 9. Abdullah seeks a Cure 10. Alim Ullah goes to Saudi 11. Ambia's story 12. November departure

About the Author

Katy Gardner is Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and is the author of several books including Global Migrants, Local Lives: Travel and Transformation in Rural Bangladesh (1995) and Discordant Development (Pluto, 2012).


'In reading it, you experience a profound sense of entering another community and seeing it from the inside. Gardner's evocative descriptions and her ability to convey the emotional intensity of its people make this a memorable book' -- Literary Review 'Beautifully and simply written ... the characters emerge in all their humanity, frailty and humour' -- New Internationalist

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