Nancy's Reviews > Stranger in the Village of the Sick: A Memoir of Cancer, Sorcery, and Healing

Stranger in the Village of the Sick by Paul Stoller
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Feb 21, 09

bookshelves: memoir, 2009, non-fiction
Read in February, 2009

It's the "sorcery" part of this book that drew me to it - the author is an anthropologist who spent many years in apprenticeship to a Songhay sorcerer. He alternated bits of his life in sorcery - which was fascinating - with narration of his cancer diagnosis and treatment, and showed how the worldview of sorcery gave him another way to understand himself as a cancer patient, along with tools - rituals - to strengthen and protect himself. I thought reading so much about cancer might just make me feel worried and anxious, but in the end I felt fortified.
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