Family memoirs -- The shapes of lives: age and gender -- Culture and conviction -- Ways of knowing -- To wander and wonder. "This collection can be read as a memoir of unfolding curiosity. It brings together essays and occasional pieces, some as new as today's news, many of them previously unpublished or unknown to readers who know Bateson only from her books, written over the course of an unconventional career. the connections and echoes among the selections in Willing to Learn are as intriguing as the contrasts in style and subject matter. The work is grounded in cultural anthropology but shaped by the observation that, in a world of rapid change and encounters with strangers, individuals can no longer depend on following traditionally defined paths."--BOOK JACKET.