Bury My Bones But Keep My Words: African Tales for Retelling

Tony Fairman, Author, Meshack Asare, Illustrator Henry Holt & Company $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8050-2333-6
In this volume of African folklore, readers are invited to take an imaginary journey overseas to meet master storytellers and their native audiences. Against a background of chirping insects and a silvery African sky, first introduced is a pipe-smoking grandmother, who relates to her two grandchildren the saga of beautiful Nyar-Upoko, transformed into a dog by a group of jealous maidens. In this selection, as in others, side comments made by the narrator and involved listeners prove to be as entertaining as the myths. The active role of audience members is most clearly shown in the book's final chapter, when one teller asks villagers to provide both the sound effects and the ending for his tale about two swindlers matching wits. Fairman's 13 alluring translations--enhanced by Asare's evocative sketches--preserve the flavor of oral traditions as well as the morals passed down through generations. Even the most reluctant readers will not fail to be intrigued. All ages. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Prebound-Other - 192 pages - 978-0-606-06258-9
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-14-036889-5
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