African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
Full of life, wisdom, and humor, these tales range from the earthy comedy of tricksters to accounts of how the world was created and got to be the way it is to moral fables that tell of encounters between masters and slaves. They include stories set down in nineteenth-century travelers' reports and plantation journals, tales gathered by collectors such as Joel Chandler Harris and Zora Neale Hurston, and narratives tape-recorded by Roger Abrahams himself during extensive expeditions throughout the American South and the Caribbean.
With black-and-white illustrations throughout
Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folkore Library
Praise for African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
"Roger D. Abrahams is one of the preeminent scholars of African American vernacular culture."
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"The text rolls along easily and amusingly. The rales are divided into types—trickster stories, moral example stories, old master stories—so that you can find the right sort of story for your taste or mood. Skipping about, in fact, is the way to enjoy the book and to appreciate the variety of background, tone, and narrative structure that it reveals."
"In spite of the scholarly fullness of this book, the earthiness and zestful wit of the tales themselves are uncompromised . . . Abrahams' thesis—that the black storytelling tradition is an incredibly rich and affirmative one—is well served by this extraordinary book, which is likely to become a standard text in the field."
"Earthy and comedic . . . a rousing good read . . . I suspect Mr. Abraham's book will be read a generation hence."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Another masterful addition and accessible introduction to the captured myths of what the Mede calls 'God's Chiefdom' . . . Sweeping across the continent . . . the juxtaposition of tribes and pacing of story lengths make for lively reading."
—The Washington Post Book World