Song from the Forest CL

Louis Sarno, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $22.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-395-61331-3
Obsessed by the music of the Pygmies, in the mid-1980s New Jerseyan Sarno ventured to the Central African Republic to live among a Pygmy clan and record its music. His engaging, detailed chronicle is full of wonder, beauty and irony, though it can also frustrate. Sarno's initial naivete soon crumbles; the Pygmies are interested in him only as a supplier of food, liquor and tobacco. But during his three-month visit he gradually grows closer to them, taping their music, observing their rituals and exploring the forest. He returns two years later to become more deeply involved in the society, eventually becoming ``a sort of village scribe.'' However, Sarno--who now has settled among the Pygmies--falls in love with a young tribeswoman without ever speaking to her. His account of his infatuation, their cat-and-mouse courtship and their ``so-called marriage'' is exasperating because he has not revealed enough of himself to make his passionate attachment to the Pygmies comprehensible. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-59534-748-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-59534-749-7
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