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THE HEALING LAND: A Kalahari Journey Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007291795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007291793
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

• ‘The story is a familiar one, but it has never been told quite this way, by a narrator so open-hearted, optimistic and vulnerable to enchantment… This is a very sweet book, full of mystery, magic and strange coincidence, and it even has a happy ending, unusual in Africa. Highly recommended.’
Rian Malan

From the Back Cover

Brought up on family stories about the bushmen of the Kalahari, Rupert Isaacson journeys to this dry vast grassland – which stretches across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia – to find out the truth behind these childhood myths. Deep in the arid heartland, Isaacson meets the last groups of Bushmen still living the traditional way, caught between their ancient culture and the growing need to protect and reclaim their dwindling hunting grounds. Little by little he is drawn into the fascinating web of ritual and prophecy that make up the Bushman reality, until at last he is sent in search of Besa, a powerful healer and shape-shifter. what follows is an adventure of an intensity he could never have predicted.

Part travel writing, part history of the Bushmen, part personal quest, The Healing Land records what Isaacson finds these silent, empty spaces: the trance dance he attends, the wildlife he hunts, the wild plants he helps gather, the characters, corruption, kindness and confusion of a people who have wrenched themselves from the Stone Age into the new millennium.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read The Healing Land with great delight. I felt that the author was carrying me with him into the desert, so that the wonder of these experiences with the Bushmen and the pain of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties with which they live, touched me very deeply. Rupert Isaacson's way with words is fresh and vibrant. The prose flowed in an easy relaxed manner. For anyone who wants to experience the Kalahari and its people, their past and possibilites for the future, their rituals and culture, all presented from a deeply personal perspective, please read this book. It is wonderful.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book expecting an interesting history on the Bushmen of the Kalahari and their plight and a geographical insight into the region. While there is no shortage of fact, both historical,political and geographical, The Healing Land is so much more than an informative read. It is personal journey and a mission, written with such skill that it takes you to the very heart of a proud people and their homeland. Rupert Isaacson brings it alive and makes it possible for the reader to see and hear the beauty of the wild landscape, the hunts, the dances, the wildlife and the tragic demise of tradition and the pain of a displaced people. I loved this book and truly could not put it down. I as disappointed when the journey was over, saddened that its ending had not been happier but moved by a driving need to to do something; if only to rush out and buy it for friends to share the knowledge that the book provides and the thought it provokes and mostly the passion that the author inspires. I would recommend it everyone..... (and their friends)
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a present from my daughter so I did not know exactly what to expect. However, as is the case with all well written novels, once I begin reading, I couldn't put it down. The personal adventures of the author during his "quest" are interesting enough in themselves, however, as with all novels which I truly enjoy, I also recieved an education as to the plight of the "bushman" and, in fact, an explaination of the development of the highly fragmented society which exists in southern Africa today.
I also feel that the author does not let "enthusiam for a cause" run away with an honest and objective evaluation of all parties involved in the bitter struggle which inevitably follows countries, and peoples, trying to regain the rights and lands which were stripped from them by colonialism.
Upon completion of this book, I had the feeling that the "healing process" between the parties involved in any normalization process of this nature is more important than that of "winning or losing".
All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative book which I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in advancing their understanding of one of the oldest and most interesting cultures on our planet and of one of the most important issues of our time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fascinating and horrifying in equal measure. These wonderful Bushmen have suffered so much in trying to reclaim their land and their way of life, which is their birth right, and as usual vested interest has tried to stop them at every turn. I have tried to discover how successful they have been while reading Rupert Isaacson's book The Long Ride Home. I know that a delegation of Bushmen went to the United States and visited the United Nations, but I have not found out whether they received their full land and hunting rights in Botswana. Rupert Isaacson and his fellow campaigners having been given life bans from visiting Botswana.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How many westerners know about the Bushmen, the original occupants of Africa, and their fight for the return of their traditional hunting grounds, or the effect of "civilisation" on their way of life? What a great book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Always fantastic when you read a book about places you've visited and they are described pretty well as you remember them, just better than you could do yourself. Obviously in my travels I didn't develop the close association, affinity or understanding that Rupert Isaacson did with the Bushmen, That's what made this book so wonderful for me, it added a whole new dimension and completed the jigsaw for me. Finally I should add that the book is superbly sculptured, poignant, insightful, touching and ultimately hopeful.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr.Isaacson not only touch my heart but also made me reconcider my own roots fastened hard in a whiteman's privledged world.I admire people who do what mr. Isascson has done, searching his roots and finding something other than the preconcieved notions and then reporting the truth. Most of us prefer the myths and go back to our confortable lives. This story is very sad from several perspectives but also infused with tremendous hope for a better future thanks to not only the author for reporting on the situation in South Africa but also those on the front lines risking their postion not to mention possibly their own lives. I personally am a cynic but this book moves me off center enough for me to re-evaluate my own power to effect change by not only seeing a problem but by pulling up a little courge to do something about it. It might get a bit better. I applaud the book for touching my soul.
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