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.
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.