Friday, April 9, 2010

The Cow Tail Swich and Other West African Stories

Written by: Harold Courlander and George Herzog

First line: Africa is many things.

Why you should read this book: While some of the characters, like the trickster Anansi, may be familiar to modern western readers, other aspects of this folklore collection may provide an introduction to a new way of thinking. With names like “Time” and “Nothing,” or bottomless appetites and other forms of unchecked greed, the characters in these stories illustrate the expectations of social norms and the importance of honor between community members. Other tales explain the origins of things or the differences among cultures; some highlight the way to change ones fortune or the importance of accepting the natural order and ones place in society.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You really, really like princesses.

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