Meloy, Ellen. The anthropology of turquoise.

Author:Boardman, Edna
Position::Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Random House, Vintage. 322p. c2002. 0-375-70813-8. $14.00. A

This is an unusual collection of essays by a Utah woman who casts an observant eye over the American Southwest. She includes her experiences of relationships and family, the happenings of everyday life, and the natural science and history of her area. Her background of scientific knowledge and philosophical thinking draws the reader into improbable experiences. Most significant is her love of the desert. Her writing fairly throbs with color and feeling as she tells of trips: Meloy takes a solo vindication trip to make up for all the times her family did not stop at motels with swimming pools when she was a child. She ponders ancient Indian-made mazes still visible among the disturbances wrought by "civilization." She fishes for barracuda with her husband in Mexico and gazes at the birds on a mangrove island. She forays with female friends. During a trip to the Bahamas, Meloy explores the roots of her family, and tries to make peace with the fact that her ancestors were slaveholders. Several essays are highly palatable reviews, for the nonscientist, of the flora and...

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