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Short Synopsis
A riveting account of the astonishing experiences and discoveries made by linguist Daniel Everett while he lived with the Pirahã, a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil.

Full Synopsis
Daniel Everett, then a Christian missionary, arrived among the Pirahã in 1977—with his wife and three young children—intending to convert them. What he found was a language that defies all existing linguistic theories and reflects a way of life that evades contemporary understanding: The Pirahã have no counting system and no fixed terms for color. They have no concept of war or of personal property. They live entirely in the present. Everett became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistic implications, and with the remarkable contentment with which they live—so much so that he eventually lost his faith in the God he'd hoped to introduce to them.

Over three decades, Everett spent a total of seven years among the Pirahã, and his account of this lasting sojourn is an engrossing exploration of language that questions modern linguistic theory. It is also an anthropological investigation, an adventure story, and a riveting memoir of a life profoundly affected by exposure to a different culture. Written with extraordinary acuity, sensitivity, and openness, it is fascinating from first to last, rich with unparalleled insight into the nature of language, thought, and life itself.

"Rich account of fieldwork among a tribe of hunter-gatherers in Brazil. . . . Everett’s experiences and findings fairly explode from these pages and will reverberate in the minds of readers." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"In this fascinating and candid account of life with the Pirahã, Everett describes how he learned to speak fluent Pirahã (pausing occasionally to club the snakes that harassed him in his Amazonian “office”). He also explains his discoveries about the language—findings that have kicked off more than one academic brouhaha." ---Publishers Weekly, Signature Review

"Vivid. . . . The book is fascinating. . . . May serve to bring the furor of linguistics and language research to readers who otherwise never catch sight of it." ---Science
Kirkus Review

Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes

Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle

Author Daniel L. Everett

Narrated by Daniel Everett

Publication date Jun 6, 2017

Running time 11 hrs

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