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Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle Hardcover – Nov 11 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (Nov. 11 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375425020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375425028
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Absorbing. . . . Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes . . . shares its author's best traits: perseverance, insight, humor and humility. Both the Pirahas and their interpreter make splendid company, especially for readers drawn to the way language underpins how we mediate our world."--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"In this fascinating and candid account of life with the Pirahã, Everett describes how he learned to speak fluent Pirahã (pausing occasionally to club the snakes that harassed him in his Amazonian "office"). He also explains his discoveries about the language-findings that have kicked off more than one academic brouhaha."--Publishers Weekly, Signature Review

"Rich account of fieldwork among a tribe of hunter-gatherers in Brazil . . . introduce[s] non-specialists to the fascinating ongoing debate about the origin of languages. . . . Everett's experiences and findings fairly explode from these pages and will reverberate in the minds of readers."--Kirkus, starred review

Dan Everett has written an excellent book. First, it is a very powerful autobiographical account of his stay with the Pirahã in the jungles of the Amazon basin. Second, it is a brilliant piece of ethnographical description of life among the Pirahã. And third, and perhaps most important in the long run, his data and his conclusions about the language of the Pirahã run dead counter to the prevailing orthodoxy in linguistics. If he is right, he will permanently change our conception of human language.”
–John Searle, Slusser Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley

“Dan Everett is the most interesting man I have ever met. This story about his life among the Pirahãs is a fascinating read. His observations and claims about the culture and language of the Pirahãs are astounding. Whether or not all of his hypotheses turn out to be correct, Everett has forced many researchers to reevaluate basic assumptions about the relationship among culture, language and cognition. I strongly recommend the book.”
–Edward Gibson, Professor of Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About the Author

Daniel L. Everett is the Chair of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Illinois State University.

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