Read Between the Ravines
This recurring program will return! Stay tuned for details.
Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book
Lake Forest Library and Lake Bluff Public Library are proud to present our joint nonfiction reading program called Read Between the Ravines. This Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book program brings together Lake Forest and Lake Bluff with the purpose of enhancing nonfiction literacy and inspiring discussion around real-world issues.
(Past program) Read Between the Ravines 2023
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"An Indian among los Indígenas upends a canon of travel memoirs that has historically been dominated by white writers. It is a sharp, honest, and unnerving examination of the shadows that colonial history casts over even the most well-intentioned attempts at cross-cultural aid." —Smithsonian Magazine
"Pike's emotional honesty ... combined with her hard questions about the effectiveness of the Peace Corps and the white saviorism often built into charity work lend a heft not always found in armchair travel. Highly recommended for memoir and travel readers, and book clubs." —Booklist
"Ursula Pike is a fine writer, with an eye for people and places in Bolivia, and an ear for the sounds of languages, buses, and silence; she is deeply reflective about the critical tensions of the cross-cultural experience and the mission to serve; and Pike is Indigenous herself, an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe of Northern California who grew up an "urban Indian," largely in Portland, Oregon." —Worldview Magazine
About the Book
When she was twenty-five, Ursula Pike boarded a plane to Bolivia and began her term of service in the Peace Corps. A member of the Karuk Tribe, Pike expected to make meaningful connections with Indigenous people halfway around the world. After all, she was not just another privileged volunteer. She was "one of the good ones"—a fellow Native who wanted to help lift a community out of poverty through economic development.
But her hopefulness quickly turned to something different. She was there to help Bolivians, but instead they helped her: cooking her food, washing her clothes, teaching her to navigate the geography and language. Even her plans for "economic development" seemed questionable, as if they meant expecting a community to choose between its culture and its future.
Over the next two years, as a series of dramatic episodes brought these tensions to boiling point, she began to ask: What does it mean to have experienced the effects of colonialism firsthand, and yet to risk becoming a colonizing force in turn?
An Indian among los Indígenas, Pike's memoir of this experience, upends a canon of travel memoirs that has historically been dominated by white writers. It is a sharp, honest, and unnerving examination of the shadows that colonial history casts over even the most well-intentioned attempts at cross-cultural solidarity. It is also the debut of an exceptionally astute writer with a mastery of deadpan wit.
Go to the catalog to borrow "An Indian Among Los Indígenas" by Ursula Pike
Thank you for attending these 2023 events with us
- Books discussions of "An Indian Among Los Indígenas" by Ursula Pike and "We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy" by Kliph Nesteroff
- Bolivian Art through the Ages with Deb Levie
- A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures with the Mitchell Museum
- Trail Marker Trees on the North Shore
- Explore Ojibwa History & Culture with Kim Sigafus
- An Evening with Ursula Pike
- "More than Memory: Using Research to Enhance Your Memoir" with Ursula Pike
Jump to: This Year's Selection Events & Discussion Partners Previous Selections
Read Next After "An Indian Among Los Indígenas"
Organization & Nonprofits
"The White Savior Industrial Complex" by Teju Cole // The Atlantic
Resources for Poetry Relief by Joy Harjo
Teaching & Learning about Native Americans // Native Knowledge 360
"An Indian Among Los Indígenas" by Ursula Pike (Bolivia) // Peace Corps Worldwide Review
Thank You to Our Partners
Jump to: This Year's Selection Events & Discussion Resources Previous Selections