The Circle of Life: Rituals from the Human Family Album

David C. Cohen, Editor, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Illustrator, Peter Matthiessen, Photographer HarperOne $48.8 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-250152-3
Full-page photographs document rites of passage common in cultures as disparate as those of New Guinea and New Jersey in this disappointingly two-dimensional overview. From Greek Orthodox infant baptisms by water and aboriginal Australian baptisms by smoke through initiation rites of adolescents in an Indonesian tribal community and an East Los Angeles girls' gang, images of such rituals as marriages, childbirth, ordinations and funerals are accompanied by quotes from C. G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, W. B. Yeats and others. Brief paragraphs elucidating origins of the ceremonies depicted add punch to the few photos in which subjects are specifically identified. An introduction by novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and afterword by naturalist writer Peter Matthiessen expand upon the universality and importance of the rites of transformation for both individuals and societies. Cohen is former director of the Day in the Life series. First serial rights to Life magazine. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/1993
Release date: 12/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-06-250244-5
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