Cloth $67.50 ISBN: 9780226178790 Published October 2014
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226178820 Published October 2014
E-book $7.00 to $22.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226178967 Published October 2014

Yaya's Story

The Quest for Well-Being in the World

Paul Stoller

Paul Stoller

176 pages | 17 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $67.50 ISBN: 9780226178790 Published October 2014
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226178820 Published October 2014
E-book $7.00 to $22.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226178967 Published October 2014
Yaya’s Story is a book about Yaya Harouna, a Songhay trader originally from Niger who found a path to America. It is also a book about Paul Stoller—its author—an American anthropologist who found his own path to Africa. Separated by ethnicity, language, profession, and culture, these two men’s lives couldn’t be more different. But when they were both threatened by a grave illness—cancer—those differences evaporated, and the two were brought to profound existential convergence, a deep camaraderie in the face of the most harrowing of circumstances. Yaya’s Story is that story.
Harouna and Stoller would meet in Harlem, at a bustling African market where Harouna built a life as an African art trader and Stoller was conducting research. Moving from Belayara in Niger to Silver Spring, Maryland, and from the Peace Corps to fieldwork to New York, Stoller recounts their separate lives and how the threat posed by cancer brought them a new, profound, and shared sense of meaning. Combining memoir, ethnography, and philosophy through a series of interconnected narratives, he tells a story of remarkable friendship and the quest for well-being. It’s a story of difference and unity, of illness and health, a lyrical reflection on human resiliency and the shoulders we lean on.    
A. David Napier, author of Making Things Better
Yaya’s Story is not only highly original, it is emotionally engaging and profound. Stoller reveals the tensions between the yearning for meaningful relationships in Niger and the clinical care afforded by New York City. In so doing he demonstrates just how complex is the creation of well-being in the modern world. Above all we watch him learn what he shares with Yaya—how both the experience of cancer and an enduring friendship create new spaces where hope and deep meaning can emerge. This is a truly remarkable book by a most gifted storyteller.”
Alisse Waterston, author of My Father’s Wars: Migration, Memory, and the Violence of a Century
“Stoller is anthropology’s master storyteller, and Yaya’s Story is his latest master tale of fieldwork, friendship, and the anthropologist’s quest for meaning. In smart, accessible prose, he introduces a fascinating transnational world from Niger to New York that is at once familiar and strange, moving and enlightening. Including Stoller’s own, multiple life stories grace the pages of this book that reveal the itch of restlessness, the power of sorcery, the loneliness of illness, and the elation of well-being in social life.”

Prologue: The Story of Yaya’s Story

1    Belayara
2    Three Brothers and the Work of Art
3    New York City and Transnational Trade

4    Silver Spring
5    Stumbling into Anthropology in Niger
6    New York City, Immigration, and the Warehouse

7    The Shadow of Sickness
8    Three Years in the Shadows
9    A Remarkable Convergence

Epilogue: The Quest for Well-Being in the World

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