These tales range from the earthy comedy of tricksters to stories explaining how the world was created and (fairly or unfairly) got to be the way it is to moral fables that tell of encounters between masters and slaves. They include stories set down in travelers' reports and plantation journals from the early nineteenth century, tales gathered by collectors such as Joel Chandler Harris and Zora Neale Hurston, and narratives tape-recorded by Roger Abrahams himself during extensive expeditions throughout the American South and the Caribbean. These elaborate, often exaggerated fictions were told by tale spinners mostly for the fun of it, but within them are embedded hard truths about dealing with the world of white people. They offer a robust, engaging demonstration of the ways in which an uprooted people have drawn from the traditions of their distant past to fashion a life - and with it, a new and vital culture - in the New World.
Designer: Peter Mendelsund & Oliver Munday
Binding: Softbound book