Homespun Tales Fr Americas Fav

Jimmy N. Smith, Editor, Jim Henson, Designed by
Jimmy N. Smith, Editor, Jim Henson, Designed by Crown Publishers $19.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-517-56936-8
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Ghosts, teachers, preachers, an eccentric old plumber, a dapper hobo and Jack the Mountain Boy are some of the colorful characters in this anthology of oral storytelling. It includes Appalachian yarns, ``Down East'' stories spiked with Maine's laconic humor, Brer Rabbit improvisations, tales of the supernatural and retellings of English, Irish, Italian, Chinese, Haitian and African folklore. Smith, who organized the first National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee in 1973, distills the activity of the current scene. Unfortunately, most of the selections lose their force in the transition to the printed page; too many are little more than anecdotes or dressed-up personal reminiscences. The success of the best of these stories hinges on the reader's effort to imaginatively reconstruct the teller's voice. This omnibus includes 20 photos of the contributors, tips on story collecting, guidelines on learning and shaping a narrative and a resource guide. (October)
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