Rooted in two vastly different cultures, a young man struggles to understand himself, find his place in the world, and reconnect with his mother-and her remote tribe in the deepest jungles of the Amazon rainforest-in this powerful memoir that combines adventure, history, and anthropology.
"My Yanomami family called me by name. Anyopo-we. What it means, I soon learned, is `long way around': I'd taken the long way around obstacles to be here among my people, back where I started. A twenty-year detour."
For much of his young life, David Good was torn between two vastly different worlds. The son of an American anthropologist and a tribeswoman from a distant part of the Amazon, it took him twenty years to embrace his identity, reunite with the mother who left him when he was six, and claim his heritage.
The Way Around is Good's amazing chronicle of self-discovery. Moving from the wilds of the Amazonian jungle to the paved confines of suburban New Jersey and back, it is the story of his parents, his American scientist-father and his mother who could not fully adapt to the Western lifestyle. Good writes sympathetically about his mother's abandonment and the deleterious effect it had on his young self; of his rebellious teenage years marked by depression and drinking, and the near-fatal car accident that transformed him and gave him purpose to find a way back to his mother.
A compelling tale of recovery and discovery, The Way Around is a poignant, fascinating exploration of what family really means, and the way that the strongest bonds endure, even across decades and worlds.
David Good is a member of a remote indigenous tribe known as the Yanomami. He is the founder and executive director of The Good Project, a nonprofit service organization dedicated to the education, health care, and preservation of indigenous groups in South and Central America. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in biological science and is a public speaker on the Yanomami and other indigenous tribes. He lives in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.