Title: Give Me My Father's Body
Publisher: Steerforth Press, S. Royalton Vermont USA
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First American Edition
Book is in good condition. With dust jacket that is price clipped, but in good condition. ** Signed by Author ** and inscribed to previous owner "To Jay" dated 20 Oct 2002 Iqaluit. * First American Edition** Previously published in Canada in 1986. From the golden age of polar exploration comes the astonishing untold story of Minik, a young Eskimo boy from Northwestern Greenland, brought to New York in 1897 by the American explorer Robert Peary. Minik, along with his father and four others, was presented to the American Museum of Natural History as one of six Eskimo "specimens". Actor Kevin Spacey has written the forward. Bookseller Inventory # 000202
Synopsis: In 1897, American explorer Robert Peary brought Minik Wallace, a young Polar Eskimo, from northwestern Greenland to New York. During his 12 years in America, Minik's adoptive family went from riches to rags, and Minik's own life was shattered by the traumatic discovery of his father's skeleton on display in the American Museum of Natural History. Sent back to Greenland in 1909, Minik had to relearn his native language and hunting skills to survive. Told here for the first time, this dark chapter from the golden age of Polar expedition is based on original research in Greenland, Denmark, and the U.S.
Review: At last returning to print, Give Me My Father's Body is the thought-provoking tale of Minik, a young Inuit boy brought to New York by Robert Peary around the turn of the 20th century. Told simply and interspersed with personal letters and newspaper clippings, the book examines Minik's life both as a cross-cultural meeting place and a deeply personal search for a place to call "home." Photographs throughout of Minik give a glimpse into the incredible differences between the multiple worlds he inhabited, and how impossible it must have been to live in these worlds successfully. The title derives from one of Minik's more harrowing experiences--finding his father's bones displayed in a natural-history museum as a "curiosity"--and his attempts to retrieve the bones for a more respectful burial. Author Kenn Harper, while including many facts and articles about Arctic exploration, refrains from sharing opinions about the various explorers or their methods, choosing to share this story--and his years of research--plainly. From the death of Minik's birth father to the financial ruin of his American foster family, the events of Minik's childhood seem like one disaster after another, and his adulthood--the successful return to Greenland, followed by disappointment and a subsequent return to New York--is an unhappy struggle to find some kind of personal fulfillment. Questions of racial and cultural differences make an inescapable larger framework for Minik's life, and the emotions brought forward in answering those questions make reading this book a powerful experience. --Jill Lightner
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