Thursday, August 7, 2014

Margaret Mead's Life in New Guinea Finally Gets the Historical Novel It Deserves

I had been wondering when Margaret Mead would reappear in the public consciousness. Presto! A new historical fiction of her life in New Guinea has been getting lots of attention. 

Here's how Ron Charles of the Washington Post introduces it:

"Blandly scrolling through salacious tweets from nubile pop stars, we can hardly imagine the thrill of Margaret Mead’s revelations in 1928. More than 80 years ago, at a time when contraceptives couldn’t be sent through the mail and movies could only show the “tragic” consequences of premarital sex, Mead published “Coming of Age in Samoa.” Her study of the psychosexual development of adolescents on the island of Ta’u confronted a self-satisfied United States, where it was still possible to speak of one’s parochial mores as natural and, of course, superior. 

With her influence on the sexual revolution, Mead was a globe-spanning iconoclast, alarming some and cheering others, becoming finally something of a totem upon which various groups cast their hopes and fears."

Check out the whole review in the Washington Post Book World.

Friday, June 20, 2014