Earthen architecture constitutes one of the most diverse forms of cultural heritage and one of the most challenging to preserve. It dates from all periods and is found on all continents but is particularly prevalent in Africa, where it has been a building tradition for centuries. Sites range from ancestral cities in Mali to the palaces of Abomey in Benin, from monuments and mosques in Iran and Buddhist temples on the Silk Road to Spanish missions in California. This volume's sixty-four papers address such themes as earthen architecture in Mali, the conservation of living sites, local knowledge systems and intangible aspects, seismic and other natural forces, the conservation and management of archaeological sites, research advances, and training.
The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world's patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. Joshua Hammer writes about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
Some 500 years ago, Askiya Muhammad founded the Songhay Dynasty of the Askiyas, which flourished for more than a century in Sahelian West Africa. The Timbuktu-based scribe al hajj Mahmud Kati was a close friend of Askiya Mohammed - and the Tarikh al fattash gives an eyewitness account of his empire, told from the perspective of a key participant. Long valued as one of the most important historical documents of the African medieval world, Kati's account is also a literary achievement that is comparable to the writings of figures like Chaucer, Rabelais and Montaigne.
The Death Instinct
France's Public Enemy Number One from the late 1960s to the end of the 1970s--when he was killed by police in a sensational traffic shootout--Jacques Mesrine (1936-1979) is the best-known criminal in French history. Mesrine was notorious both for his violent exploits and for the media attention he attracted, and he remains very much a public media figure in France and Europe. In 2008 there were two feature-length films based on his life, one of them starring Vincent Cassel in the lead role. Mesrine wrote "The Death Instinct" while serving time in the high-security prison La Sante; the manuscript was smuggled out of the prison and was later published by Guy Debord's publisher Gerard Lebovici (who briefly adopted Mesrine's daughter, Sabrina, before being assassinated, a few years after Mesrine). "The Death Instinct" deals with the early years of Mesrine's criminal life, including a horrifically graphic description of a murder he committed early on in his career and a highly detailed account of the workings of the French criminal underworld--making this book perhaps one of the most intriguing and detailed anthropological studies of a criminal culture ever written.
Tells the story of a tired photographer named Marc, a very patient young woman he meets, and his pain-in-the-neck cat.
Thing of Beauty
At age seventeen, Gia Carangi was working the counter at her father's Philadelphia luncheonette, Hoagie City. Within a year, Gia was one of the top models of the late 1970's, gracing the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue, partying at New York's Studio 54 and the Mudd Club, and redefining the industry's standard of beauty. She was the darling of moguls and movie stars, royalty and rockers. Gia was also a girl in pain, desperate for her mother's approval—and a drug addict on a tragic slide toward oblivion, who started going directly from $10,000-a-day fashion shoots to the heroin shooting galleries on New York's Lower East Side. Finally blackballed from modeling, Gia entered a vastly different world on the streets of New york and Atlantic City, and later in a rehab clinic. At twenty-six, she became on of the first women in America to die of AIDS, a hospital welfare case visited only by rehab friends and what remained of her family. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Gia's gamily, lovers, friends, and colleagues, Thing of Beauty creates a poignant portrait of an unforgettable character—and a powerful narrative about beauty and sexuality, fame and objectification, mothers and daughters, love and death.
The award-winning More, by one of Turkey’s leading underground writers, is the world’s first novel about the refugee crisis. “The illegals climbed into the truck, and, after a journey of two hundred miles, they boarded ships and were lost in the night.” Gaza lives on the shores of the Aegean Sea. At the age of nine he becomes a human trafficker, like his father. Together with his father and local boat owners Gaza helps smuggle desperate “illegals,” by giving them shelter, food, and water before they attempt the crossing to Greece. One night everything changes and Gaza is suddenly faced with the challenge of how he himself is going to survive. This is a heartbreaking work that examines the lives of refugees struggling to flee their homeland and the human traffickers who help them reach Europe—for a price. In this timely and important book, one of the first novels to document the refugee crisis in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, we see firsthand how the realities of war, violence, and migration affect the daily lives of the people who live there. This is a powerful exploration of the unfolding crisis by one of Turkey’s most exciting and critically acclaimed young writers who writes unflinchingly about social issues.
In the popular imagination, Calcutta is a packed and pestilential sprawl, made notorious by the Black Hole and the works of Mother Teresa. Kipling called it a City of Dreadful Night, and a century later V.S. Naipaul, Gunter Grass and Louis Malle revived its hellish image. This is the place where the West first truly encountered the East. Founded in the 1690s by East India Company merchants beside the Hugli River, Calcutta grew into India's capital during the Raj and the second city of the British Empire. Named the City of Palaces for its neoclassical mansions, Calcutta was the city of Clive, Hastings, Macaulay and Curzon. It was also home to extraordinary Bengalis such as Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel laureate, and Satyajit Ray, among the geniuses of world cinema. Above all, Calcutta (renamed Kolkata in 2001) is a city of extremes, where exquisite refinement rubs shoulders with coarse commercialism and political violence. Krishna Dutta explores these multiple paradoxes, giving personal insight into Calcutta's unique history and modern identity as reflected in its architecture, literature, cinema and music. CITY OF ARTISTS: Modern India's cultural capital; home city of
Follows the adventures of three African American rogues in the harsh streets of London in the years after the American Revolution
An award-winning, lyrically written, beautifully haunting saga of a Haitian family's fight against a curse spanning four generations.