Cover image for Traditional storytelling today : an international sourcebook
Traditional storytelling today : an international sourcebook
McDowell, John Holmes, 1946-
Publication Information:
Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
xv, 627 pages ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR72 .T73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

A wide-ranging, probing, and expressive work that defines the resonance of world cultures, this scholarly anthology brings together 100 brief essays evaluating the process and purpose of telling stories throughout the world. These essays, written by leading scholars such as Linda Degh, Jan Harold Brunvand, and William K. McNeil, analyze the anthropological and social implications of tale-telling, listening, and entertainment and consider audience interaction. MacDonald, who is a folklorist and storyteller as well as a children's librarian, has mined a great wealth of enduring literature, both oral and published, to put together this anthology. An important survey should be in most larger libraries.ÄRichard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The piquant, engaging, cross-cultural "stories" in this excellent sourcebook/bibliography will expand instruction and learning in literature, anthropology, oral history, geography, sociology, psychology, music, dance, art, and drama. For example, one can compare the "praise-proverb" narrative mode described under "Hunters' Narratives" (in sub-Saharan Africa) to the use of proverbs in the works of Chinua Achebe; or use the Chhattisgarh (Madhya Pradesh, India) love story of the heroine Candaini to contrast the unique freedom of Chhattisgarh women and the status of Indian women elsewhere. The editors grouped the numerous essays geographically (sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East/North Africa, North America, and South America), and they provide a final section on theory. Entries treat folktale themes, motifs, plots, language, performance/narration modes, history, and social contexts within specific ethnic perspectives. Only a few complete "stories" are told--readers can follow the bibliography to locate the full text--but those few (the Tunisian "Khurafah"; cowboy poems) are appealing in their intriguing amalgam of local detail and universal themes. The analyses one could apply to the material in this astonishingly diverse collection are limitless. Some essays are informal, others academic in their approach to their subject; but generally they are jargon-free and readable. For all collections. J. Gregg; CUNY, New York City Technical College