Web Extras

WEB EXTRA: Ann Armbrecht, THIN PLACES (full interview)

In 2009, Writer’s Voice spoke with Ann Armbrecht about her memoir, THIN PLACES: A Pilgramage Home. Francesca Rheannon was joined on the interview by writer Christian MacEwen.

The original edited aired episode has been lost, so here is the unedited version of the conversation, pulled from our archives. The first few minutes have been lost, but we join her as Armbrecht is talking about how the people in the village in Nepal first received her.

Ann Armbrecht

When Ann Armbrecht went to a small village in Nepal to research her dissertation in anthropology, she thought she would find answers to her questions about Nepalese land rights. But she also found answers to questions in her own life—questions about community, relationships, and trust.

Through her friendships with women in the village, including an old grandmother and a young woman who dreamed of a different life, Armbrecht learned to see beyond the narrow confines of cultural expectations to the common bonds between human beings.

She worked in the fields beside the women, talked to the shamans about the spirit world, and went on a grueling pilgrimage to a cave high in the Himalayan mountains. But her real pilgrimage was toward the center of the human heart. Her memoir is THIN PLACES: A Pilgrimage Home.

Armbrecht is an anthropologist and herbalist, as well as a writer. She co-produced the film Numen: The Nature of Plants.


About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.