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Young Skins by Colin Barrett
Young Skins


Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award


“A stunning debut . . . The timeless nature of each story means this collection can—and will—be read many years from now.” —Sunday Times

“Exciting and stylistically adventurous.” —Colm Toibín
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
 
description 
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Tobias Schneebaum
By This Author

Where the Spirits Dwell

Keep the River on Your Right
"I have always lusted after the Wild Man of Borneo, and my earliest memories reach back to him. the picture I see now in my mind is of a caged creature, half man, half ape, human or orangutan I don't remember."

So begins Wild Man, the extraordinary memoir by a man who has not only dreamed_from that early childhood vision of the wild man glimpsed in a Coney Island sideshow_but lived his dream to the full. Born of Jewish immigrant parents and brought up on New York's Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, Tobias Schneebaum always had an insatiable desire to travel to and live in distant places, in search of the wild man. After World War II, Schneebaum studied art under Rufino Tamayo, and at Tamayo's suggestion went and lived in Mexico for three and a half years, painting, teaching, and developing an increasing interest in anthropology. In 1955 he was awarded a Fulbright grant to study in Peru, and in the course of that year descended the eastern slopes of the Andes into the jungle, where he disappeared for almost a year, living among the primitive Harakhambut. From that experience came his earlier work, whose title Keep the River on Your Right refers to the white man's last words to him as he set out from the Christian mission into that '"heart of darkness.'" Subsequently he traveled in South America, India, Tibet, Africa, Borneo, New guinea, and Southeast Asia, usually alone, often on foot. The isolated and the unknown paths were the ones he inevitably sought. In the course of his peripatetic life he has lived among Stone Age peoples, including head-hunters and cannibals, often in remote jungles where no white man had ever been. How does he survive? "By becoming the people I live with," he says. "I don't do it consciously. I'm fascinated by other people's mental habits and sex habits...I eat their food, sleep with them, wear their clothes, and go naked."

"Tobias Schneebaum, whose Keep the River on Your Right brilliantly described his encounter with a Peruvian cannibalistic tribe," writes Anne Freemantle, "has now written an even more fascinating book...It is an astonishing journey in the interior of the self, as well as an exploration of the relationship between men the world over."

Curriculum Vitae Born in New York, March 25, 1922 Attended Stuyvesant High School, N.Y. 1934-38 Academic degrees: B.A. from the City College of New York (1942), majoring in Mathematics and Art. Studied painting with Rufino Tamayo at the Brooklyn Museum, 1946, 1947. M.A. degree in Cultural Anthropology from Goddard College, 1977. Thesis title: A Museum as a Focal Point in Acculturation: The Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress Employment: Lived and painted in Mexico 1947-1950. taught at the Irma Jonas School of Painting in Ajijic, summers only. One-Man exhibition of paintings, Ganso Gallery, New York, 1953 One-Man shows at Peridot Gallery, New York, 1955,'57,'60,'64,'70 Worked as designer at Tiber Press, New York, 1955-1970 Assistant to the Curator at the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress, Agats, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, 1973-'83 Assistant Curator for the exhibition, "Asmat: life with the Ancestors," Hofheim, Germany, 1981. Curated the Asmat half of the exhibition, "People of the River, People of the Tree," Organized by the Minnesota Museum of Art at the Landmark Center Galleries, Saint Paul, MN, 1989. Curated the exhibition, "Embodied Spirits: ritual Carvings of the Asmat" at the Peabody Museum of Salem, 1990. This exhibition later traveled to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena in March of '92, and then to the Bell Museum, Minneapolis, 1992. Lecturer on Anthropology and the Art of the peoples of Melanesia and Indonesia on various ships in the Pacific and in Indonesia, 1973-2000. Program Director for 29 Asmat men and women who came to the United States to demonstrate carving and to the Field Museum, and in New Orleans, 1990. Lecturer in Primitive Art at the New School for Social Research, part-time, 1985-'91. Lecturer part-time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994-'95 I have curated an exhibition of Asmat ancestor shields for The American Federation of Arts, 1994-'95 Publications SECRET PLACES: My life in New York and New Guinea, University of Wisconsin Press, 2000 (reviewed in The Nation, Fall of 2000) Wild Man, Viking Press, 1979 and reissue by iUniverse, 2001 Keep the River on Your Right, Grove Press, 1969 Where the Spirits Dwell, Grove Press, 1989 Asmat Images, The Asmat Museum of Culture & Progress, 1985 Embodied Spirits, Peabody Museum of Salem, 1990 Contributed essay to People of the River, People of the Tree, catalogue of an exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of Art, 1989. Fellowships and Awards: Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, 1982 and 1990 Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at Bellagio, 1985 Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, 1986 JDR 3rd Fund grant, 1975 and 1985 CAPS grant, 1974 Fulbright Fellowship to Peru, 1955-'56 Many residencies at Yaddo, Briarcombe, Ucross, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ossabaw Island, Djerassi Foundation

Most recently he was the subject of the documentary film titled Keep the River on Your Right, A Modern Cannibal Tale, Lifer Films, 2000. Please go to keeptheriver.com to find more biographical information and to see clips from the film.

Also a number of major profiles and interviews with Schneebaum appeared in 2001: New York Times Magazine article in March of 2001. Artnews article, Spring 2001 Interviewed by Allan Gurganus in BOMB magazine, Spring 2001.

Tobias Schneebaum passed away in September 2005.
<October 2017>
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Afterglow (a dog memoir)

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