Monday, May 15, 2017

Maria Tatar is Working on A Book of African American Folktales!

These European fairy tales we know and love also exist in traditional African culture. "You can find a Little Red Riding Hood, you can find The Juniper Tree, which we think of as a quintessentially German tale, in Africa as well..." (Tatar, speaking to BFM radio)

We're so excited for this - and it's annotated! The book is due out Halloween 2017 (so not too far away). Here are the details:

This is the project description from the Hutchins Center, with whom Tatar is working on this with:
The Annotated African-American Folktales will present 50-60 tales from African-American traditions to a general audience.  It will begin by charting the origins of the narratives and tracing their dissemination, adaptation, and reinvention in the Americas, North and South, as well as in Caribbean regions.  The volume will include introductions to each tale, historical commentary, cultural information, illustrations, and photographs.  It will include works ranging from stories about Anansi to tales about Brer Rabbit, always providing information about how the tales have been inflected in different cultures and how their afterlife manifests itself today. 
Informed by scholarship in an array of disciplines including folklore, anthropology, African American Studies, and linguistics, it will seek to explore popular vernacular traditions through the medium of print culture.  The ambition is to remind us all that the tales are “still here” and that they have the power to reinvigorate our cultural productions with their humor, wisdom, and electrifying social energy.
And the description from Amazon:
The Annotated African American Folktales 1st Editionby Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor), Maria Tatar (Editor) 
Collected for the first time, these nearly 150 African American folktales animate our past and reclaim a lost cultural legacy to redefine American literature. 
Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before, The New Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths, and legends that revitalize a vibrant African American past untainted by romantic antebellum sentiment or counterfeit nostalgia. Beginning with introductory essays and 20 seminal African tales as historical background, Gates and Tatar present nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” out-of-print tales from the 1890s Southern Workman, and stories that finally incorporate Caribbean and Latin American literature within the canon. With illuminating annotations and revelatory illustrations, The New Annotated African American Folktales reminds us that stories not only move, entertain, and instruct but, more fundamentally, inspire and keep hope alive. color throughout; 160 illustrations 
You can already pre-order it on Amazon HERE.

Note: All images are by Leo and Diane Dillon for the book Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales by Virginia Hamilton

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