Concept

My Ishmael

Summary
My Ishmael is a 1997 novel by Daniel Quinn that is a followup to Ishmael. With its time frame largely simultaneous with Ishmael, its plot precedes the fictional events of its 1996 spiritual successor, The Story of B. Like Ishmael, My Ishmael largely revolves around a Socratic dialogue between the sapient gorilla, Ishmael, and a student, involving his philosophy regarding tribal society. Ishmael's pupil in My Ishmael, however, is a twelve-year-old female protagonist, Julie Gerchak, and the plot details not only her visits to Ishmael but also her journey to Africa in order to prepare Ishmael's return to the wilds of his homeland. Plot summary My Ishmael is presented as the final copy of a book published by Julie Gerchak, who has herself read Ishmael. At the time she begins writing, Julie is sixteen, though during the main plot of her story she is merely twelve years old: "a plucky, resourceful, near-genius with a wobbly home life." Like the narrator of Ishmael, Julie discovers
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