When reading the book The Kin of Ata are waiting for you (Bryant, 1971, republished 1997), I had to reframe at how I was reading a fiction novel; as opposed to the four previous books that were closer to non-fiction. I enjoyed the author Dorothy Bryant’s use of creative language and insightful storytelling. It is quite evident that the book is Utopian Primitive in the mode of 1971 written by a female author. I am bothered by what category this book fits into: Science Fiction, Fantasy, or possibly Philosophy? Overall, there are many parts that give me food for thought.
First, the protagonist narrates the story in first-person. However, I’m sure I’m not alone when it is challenging to relate to someone who is so ego-centered and has committed such egregious acts. I find myself wondering what it would be like to be in the same space as perpetrators. Over the weekend, my Henna artist mentioned her boyfriend leads a men’s group for oppressors. Wow, that takes a special breed of counselors. Still, I find myself being drawn to the humanistic principle that there is something good in everyone.
Also, another theme that resonated with me is the concept of community; especially for the protagonist who was fiercely independent and grew to rely on the people around him. The community had many ways to nourish him through his own journey of existentialism meaning. I admired the island’s culture; and respect for each other and their natural resources.
Finally, I am fascinated by the honor that dreams are given in the community of Ata. The Kin believe that our dreams are just as important, if not more important, than our waking daily life. It seems they have arranged a certain lifestyle that will elicit powerful dreams. I have always had great colorful and elaborate dreams. I know there are a variety of factors that influence what I may dream at night. Perhaps I will ponder this further to see the influences of the relationship of daily life and night-time dreams.