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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  • The Teachings -- The Latest from Daniel
    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    "It was a long time coming -- fifteen years or so -- but something strange finally made its way to my attention. Of the millions who have read Ishmael about 90% of them stopped there. Have never read ANY of the works that FOLLOWED it.

    "This prompted me to put together a book specifically for these millions -- a book designed to show them what they're missing. I've called it a book of appetizers -- generous samples of all the books they haven't tasted -- the two that came before Ishmael: Tales of Adam and The Book of the Damned; and the six that came after Ishmael: Providence, The Story of B, My Ishmael, Beyond Civilization, The Invisibility of Success, and If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways.

    "Strangely, Random House, which published the first four that came after Ishmael, declined to publish this one. Obviously they think that the millions who stopped after reading Ishmael are going to STAY stopped. I'm hoping to prove them wrong, so this time things are going to be different.

  • ALARMIST: Victor Palenque paintings on view through 10/12/14
    September 5, 2014
    If you missed Friday's opening night festivities at the Low Brow Artique gallery in Brooklyn, NY you can still see paintings by artist Victor Palenque (AKA Ishmael), creator of the mural that is the cover photo for the DQ Facebook page (and many others). These paintings are on wood, and while not specifically Ishmael-related as many of his murals are, they express his vision of the world. Check out his website Alarmist exhibit. Or get gallery information at Low Brow Artique.

  • Help KickStart a permaculture learning center for Barbados
    September 4, 2014
    Join Kenton Zerbin and a small, dedicated team whose goal is to help Barbadians counteract the effects of intensive sugarcane farming and restore their land to provide sustainable life for both the land and the people.

    They need to raise $50,000 in their KickStarter campaign to get this project underway. Click on the headline to learn more or get all the facts by going directly to Permaculture KickStarter Campaign.

  • Entire Food Production and Population Growth video now on YouTube!
    September 4, 2014
    Click on the headline to get all the information and links to the videos at YouTube.

  • Now and Forever Back in Print—
    The Book of the Damned

    May 8, 2014
    There is quite a saga attached to this book. As most readers know by now, the writing of Ishmael was a twelve-year process that produced eight different versions, the eighth version being Ishmael, the only version in which a telepathic gorilla appears.

    When Daniel began the fifth version, The Book of the Damned, in 1981, he was sure he'd found the way the book had to be written—in what he would later call "lightning strikes." He was so excited by what he produced in Part One that he put it in print and took it around to bookstores in Santa Fe, a little 4¼ by 5½ inch 16-pager with it's own special display rack. Oddly enough, the quirky readers of Santa Fe ate it up. (Bookstore owners were complaining that too many copies were being stolen!) (story continues...)

    Click here to read an excerpt.
    Click here to see more on Amazon.

  • Meet Muralist Victor Palenque
    March 30, 2014
    We've never been able to tell you much about Victor, except for his magnificent "Read Ishmael" murals, of course. But now have a look at this recent interview on the website of the Societé Perrier (yes, THAT Perrier): Apocalypse Now...

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Teachings That Came Before and After Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

The Teachings That Came Before and After Ishmael

by Daniel Quinn

Giveaway ends October 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win


  • 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.

  "Creation wasn't complete when jellyfish appeared or when amphibians appeared or when reptiles appeared or even when mammals appeared. According to your mythology, it was complete only when man appeared."


"Why was the world and the universe incomplete without man? What was the world without man?"

"It was just a jungle."

"That's right. But the gods didn't mean to leave the world a jungle, did they?"

"You mean in our mythology? Certainly not."

"It needed what?"

"It needed someone to come in and . . . straighten it out. Someone to put it in order."

"And what sort of person is it who straightens things out? What sort of person takes anarchy in hand and puts it in order?"

"Well . . . a ruler. A king."

"Of course. The world needed a ruler. It needed man."



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