This classic of anthropological literature is a dramatic, revealing account of an anthropologist’s first year in the field with a remote African tribe. Simply as a work of ethnographic interest, Return to Laughter provides deep insights into the culture of West Africa—me subtle web of its tribal life and the power of the institution of witchcraft. However, the author’s fictional approach gives the book its lasting appeal. She focuses on the human dimension of anthropology, recounting her personal triumphs and failures and documenting the profound changes she undergoes. As a result, her story becomes at once highly personal and universally recognizable. She has vividly brought to life the classic narrative of an outsider caught up and deeply involved in an utterly alien culture.
“The first introspective account ever published of what it’s like to be a field worker among a primitive people.”—Margaret Mead