Episode 10

Agustin Fuentes

Anthropologist and professor at Princeton University

Agustin Fuentes is an anthropologist and a professor at Princeton University Professor Fuentes specializes in creativity, imagination, belief, human evolution and evolutionary theory.




The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

He read the Tolkien when he was around 10 and 12 and reread them many times in his early teens. The books to him portrays the epic world with gatherings, friends, family and humans. They narrative of journey impacted him heavily and made him think a lot about the role of connecting to others in meeting life challenges.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

His father gave the book to him when he was 8 or 9. He reread again when he was 13 years old both in English and Spanish. He thinks it's a powerful tale about hope, love, romance, foolishness, ignorance and also a deep sense of history. It did shaped his career life.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

At the age of 14, he read it in English and then read it again in Spanish in his 20s. His mother gave it to him and he remembered being so impacted by it. He finds the story fantastic and surrealist, yet very grounded and sensual. It's about a long-term love and lost.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

It's one of his earliest memories. He was around 5 or 6. He remembered reading very young and it spoke to him. He thinks it's exactly like how he spent his life as a child.

1984 by George Orwell

He read it in his early teems. He thinks it's a must-read for everyone. The power of the book is that it shows how horrific control, dominate, discrimination and oppression can be.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

He thinks rereading the Foundation many times pre-exposed him to be able to think with this kind of temporal span. He thinks Asimov did a great job in weaving technology and humanity together to show how they structure each other.

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume

The book is written by a woman, and It's about a female protagonist. Even if he was a teenage boy, he identified a lot with what the protagonist is going through: the sense of alienation, the yearning to be a part of and also apart from and changes in body. The influences from the book help ground him to think about being a human being and relating to others. Also, it helps him in his areas of research which are gender, discrimination, the development process that we all go through.