Read Jaguar: A Story of Africans in America by Paul Stoller Free Online
Book Title: Jaguar: A Story of Africans in America|
The author of the book: Paul Stoller
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 844 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
Edition: University Of Chicago Press
Date of issue: December 15th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780226775289
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Issa Boureima is a young, hip African street vendor who sells knock-off designer bags and hats in an open-air market on 125th street in Harlem. His goal is to become a "Jaguar"—a West African term for a keen entrepreneur able to spot trends and turn a profit in any marketplace. This dynamic world, largely invisible to mainstream culture, is the backdrop of this timely novel.
Faced with economic hardship in Africa, Issa has left his home in Niger and his new wife, Khadija, to seek his fortune in America. Devout Muslims, the couple has entered into a "modern" marriage: Khadija is permitted to run her own business, and Issa has agreed not to take additional wives. Issa quickly adapts to his new surroundings, however, and soon attracts several girlfriends. Aided by a network of immigrants, he easily slips through gaps in the "system" and extends his stay in America indefinitely. Following a circuit of African-American cultural festivals across America, he marvels at African-Americans' attitudes toward Africa, and wonders if he'll ever return to Niger. Meanwhile, Khadija also struggles to make it—to become a "Jaguar"—as she combats loneliness, hostile in-laws, and a traditional, male-dominated society. The eventual success of her dry goods shop and her growing affection for a helpful Arab merchant make her wonder if she'll ever join Issa in America.
Drawing on his own decades of experience among Africans both in Niger and in New York, Paul Stoller offers enormous insight into the complexities of contemporary Africa. Alive with detail, Jaguar is a story of triumph and disappointment, of dislocation and longing, and of life lived in a world that no longer recognizes boundaries.
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Read information about the authorPaul Stoller is an anthropologist and novelist who teaches anthropology at West Chester University. He has conducted ethnographic research in the Republic of Niger in West Africa and among West African immigrants in New York City. His books, novels and memoirs are attempts to convey the wisdom of African systems of thought. He is currently doing research on family life among West African immigrants in New York City and is at work on a new novel, The Sorcerer's Burden and a new work of non-fiction, The Business of Social Relations: Global Resilience Among West Africans in the World. His most recent book, The Power of the Bertween: An Anthropological Odyssey was published in December 2008 by The University of Chicago Press. Paul has a new website, paulstoller.com which up and running.
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