The Forest Has You
Luis Devin
Story of an Initiation
Italian edition:
LA FORESTA TI HA. Storia di un'iniziazione
(Castelvecchi - LIT Edizioni)
Paperback edition and eBook now available!
A true story from the heart of Africa, an enthralling journey
into an unknown world, among leaf huts, spirits of the forest
and the initiation rites of the Baka Pygmies.

«Luis Devin's debut work reveals a great talent for storytelling and resonates with truth: it is a pantheistic prayer, a hymn to the rainforest and to its inhabitants, the Baka Pygmies.»
Carlo Grande - La Stampa, TuttoLibri
(national newspaper book supplement)

«An incredible adventure, documenting the culture of a fast disappearing world.»
Gianfranco Corino - Oasis (nature and anthropology magazine)

«In a single book we have an intensely private memoir, descriptions of a unique, distant culture, an exposé of developing Africa, adventure and a mystery. The very effective construction of the book, consisting of significant events in tribal life and the writer's personal epiphanies, makes for riveting reading.»
Simone Colombo - Argo (literary journal)

«The story of an adventure that no white man has ever lived.»
Maria Spezia - Millionaire (magazine)

«Devin has lived among the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon and was able to be admitted into one of their clans, taking part in the secret rite of initiation with other young people of the community in the rainforest. A reportage from a vanishing world.»
Michele Gravino - National Geographic Italia

«Luis Devin gives a first person account of his experience of the initiation ritual he underwent with the Baka Pygmies. We realize that, in order to find their way home, some people must embark on a seemingly endless journey, in this case leading to Africa and its rainforests. It is not an experience for everyone, but, like Devin, they can give us some idea of what makes a man become a man: to die before dying.»
Dario Olivero - La Repubblica (national newspaper)

«Devin's book combines factual reporting and an anthropologist's notes, reportage and exposé journalism, autobiography and scientific observation. But above all, it is the story of one man's journey of the heart, the discovery of his special place: arriving in the rainforest he has the feeling that he has come home. So much so that he eventually becomes a member of the tribe of Baka Pygmies, accepting their invitation to be "initiated" in a secret and bloody ceremony that marks the passage into adult life.»
Maria Giulia Minetti - La Stampa (national newspaper)

«An absorbing and evocative experience. An anthropological exploration that has become sharing, friendship, love.»
Laura Stradaroli - Domus Aurea Magazine

«I was reminded of the nights and days I spent with the Pygmies: incredible and unrepeatable as my experience was, it was nothing in comparison with the story told by Luis Devin of his own personal experience. Those of us who admire and respect the surviving indigenous peoples of our planet could not wish for more from a book.»
Folco Quilici (documentary maker and writer)

«Luis Devin was accepted as a member of the community of the Baka Pygmies in the Cameroon after undergoing a complete and authentic initiation rite. This is his personal account of what it means to become part of an age-old culture (diametrically opposed to our own), living in symbiosis with a natural world that is welcoming and fecund, yet also very cruel.»
Giuliano Aluffi - Il Venerdì di Repubblica
(national newspaper's weekly magazine)

«The African rainforests are in danger. To combat this threat we need to get to know the forest in depth, and the real experts on these complex ecosystems are the Pygmies. Luis Devin, one of the very few westerners accepted into a tribe of Baka Pygmies, explains what we can learn from their relationship with the natural environment.»
Gustavo Gandini - WWF Italia magazine (Panda)

«"La foresta ti ha" evokes a great number of complex feelings. It takes us on a journey into a world that is still unspoiled (not for very long perhaps) among people that we would actually love to meet in person, in real life. It transports us into another dimension, one we would love to find ourselves living in, to be able to experience the same intense feelings that the book communicates.»
Lorenza Mari - ArticoloTre (online newspaper)

«A writer of great talent, Devin's narrative is as direct and simple as it is beautifully written. He has the capacity to move his readers or to make them laugh, to maintain a breathless pace with fascinating anecdotes, conveying the magic of these places and of the Baka Pygmies. A perfect book, written with the clarity of a photograph, written from the heart. And it speaks to the heart of the reader. Like the voice of the rainforest.»
QLibri (literary portal)

«Luis Devin recounts his amazing experience, penetrating into the indigenous community of the Baka Pygmy People so deeply to be admitted to its initiation rite.»
Vanna Pescatori - La Stampa (national newspaper)

«Hunting expeditions, journeys through the rain forest, propitiatory chants and ceremonies of witchcraft: Luis Devin recounts his incredible experiences with the Pygmies, weaving together narrative, anthropology and lyrical description.»
Pier Maria Mazzola - Africa (magazine)

«An extraordinary adventure in a world that is rapidly changing. A story full of adventure, mystery, emotions, but also social protest.»
Simona Trere - TuttoGreen

«The secrets of the rainforest. Initiation rituals. Concepts of nature and of community that we find difficult to imagine, absorbed as we are in our busy city lives. Yet there is still someone who is prepared to travel there, to see this world with his own eyes, to experience it firsthand... And if this someone is not just an anthropologist, but a writer? Well, then we really feel that we have seen the intense green of those leaves, heard the sounds of that language. As if we had actually been in the rainforest.»
laFeltrinelli.it (book portal)

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