This site exists to aid in the exploration of issues central to the novel Ishmael and the ideas of Daniel Quinn. Here you can learn more about Quinn's ideas and come to a deeper understanding of our culture and why things are the way they are.

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  • DQ talks on "News and Notes" podcast
    March 15, 2017

    Catch a recent podcast dialogue between Jeffrey McAndrew and Daniel at News and Notes with Jeffrey McAndrew. Learn more about Jeffrey and his work at his website, Jeffrey McAndrew.

  • DQ interview airs on KCBX Tuesday, Feb. 21
    February 20, 2017

    If you're in range of KCBX Central Coast Public Radio in California, tune in Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. PST to listen to Daniel's wide-ranging conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, which took place over a two-day period in Houston last fall. In addition to hosting this weekly talk show, A Conversation With the Reluctant Therapist, Ms Barrett lectures at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, where her students read Ishmael in their Introduction to the Counseling Profession course.

    After the broadcast, the program will be available for listening at Conversation with Daniel Quinn.

  • DQ named a Sustainability Champion in university text
    February 19, 2017

    "Sustainability Champions: Role Models in Sustainability Graduate Education" is a chapter in the recently published Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education authored by professors and graduate students in the U. of Saskatchewan's School of Environment and Sustainability. According to Martin Boucher, one of the co-authors of the chapter, Daniel was "one of the top champions" selected by faculty, staff, and graduate students.

    Daniel's response on receiving a letter from Martin and a list of other named champions was: "Seeing the attached was a rare pleasure. In all the yars I've devoted to education I never would have dreamed I would be named such a thing as a sustainability champion in graduate education!"

    You can learn the details of the survey and book at Sustainability Champions.

  • An update from Daniel
    September 26, 2016

    Many thanks to all of you who’ve commiserated, offered good wishes, and sent hopes for a speedy recovery from the misstep that resulted in my hip fracture in July. I’m back home now, still getting regular visits from a physical therapist and working toward walking on my own. But the X-rays assure us that all is well, and I’m at least part-time back at my computer and regular routine.

    Seventeen years ago, when I finished writing Beyond Civilization, I would've agreed that my major work was done, that in Ishmael and the books that followed it I’d said what I principally have to say and was free to resume a career as a fiction writer, with novels like After Dachau and The Holy. Happily, I was mistaken.

    Therefore, the major part of the routine to which I must now return is getting back to work on the new book that I've been embroiled in for the better part of a year. This is my most important book by far, and it's almost as difficult to get down on paper as Ishmael was. I'd like to think another year will see it finished. Or maybe two. Oddly enough, or perhaps one could say "providentially," this accident and forced hiatus made me realize that I was moving in the wrong direction with the book. Being forced to stop the writing, I was able to rethink what I'd been doing, and so about two months worth of work that I would have done and then had to scrap has been avoided. All because I unwittingly stepped into that hole in the street in the midst of a rainstorm. I vividly remember, while lying there in the rain and howling for help: "I'll bet you think this is just a coincidence!"

    Anyhow, I know that for the foreseeable future I’m going to be busy with this book virtually every hour that I’m awake. This means that, as much as I enjoy hearing from my readers, I’m going to be less generally available than I have been and that every form of social media is going to find me even less responsive now than I have been in the past. I appreciate the way you've communicated with each other through the Guestbook here and on my Facebook page and trust you'll continue that practice, even though my own participation will be limited. (I will, of course, always be available to teachers and classes for telephone conferences.)

The Teachings front cover


  • Pan Earth: a site dedicated to a scientific, holistic approach to world problems (and population in particular).

  • Read Ishmael: a site created by Quinn readers to reach out to other prospective readers.

  • Friends of Ishmael Society: find local groups (and more).

  • Cultural Survival: partnering with indigenous peoples to defend their lands, languages, and cultures.

  • Sacred Land Film Project: dedicated to protecting the Earth's sacred places through education and action.

  • Ishmael's Annex: your source for shirts, bumper stickers, and other Ishmael-related artifacts (featuring DQ designs). It provides much of the funding that keeps this website going.

  • Here are some new Facebook pages established by people who want to share and discuss Daniel's work and related subjects. They're all somewhat different, depending on the focus of the creator, so check them out and interact with them as you see fit.

  "Where do you get this impression, Julie? Where do you get the impression that what's normal is for things to work?"

"Wow," I said. Where did I get that impression? "Maybe this is it. Every other thing in the whole universe seems to work. The air works, the clouds work, the trees work, the turtles work, the germs work, the atoms work, the mushrooms work, the birds work, the lions work, the worms work, the sun works, the moon works, the whole universe works! Every single thing in it works, except for us. Why? What makes us so special?"

My Ishmael


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