Cajun Folktales

J. J. Reneaux, Author
J. J. Reneaux, Author August House Publishers $11.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-87483-282-2
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-0-87483-283-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-87483-383-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-88003-9
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While the tales of African Americans and Native Americans have been much anthologized, the vibrant oral folk tradition of the Cajun has been more or less neglected by American publishers. This excellent anthology by Reneaux helps plug that inexplicable gap. Reneaux, a noted storyteller and a Cajun herself, retells 27 tales she heard in childhood from relatives or has heard since from fellow Cajuns. Their folklore is as spicy and interesting as their famed food and reflects a variety of flavors and influences. The story of Lapin and his theft of honey from Bouqui, for instance, is a Cajun favorite and is clearly recognizable as one of the contests between Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox. Likewise, the aetiological tale of why alligators hate dogs is reminiscent of Native tradition. The author tells a wide variety of tales--animal stories, ghost stories, fairy stories. One of the best relates the Hansel and Gretel-like story of Catafo and his brothers, who out-smart their devilish host. Another perhaps also familiar one tells of the ghost of the renowned pirate Jean Lafitte trying to free himself of his cursed treasure. (Oct.)
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