dinsdag 26 november 2013

THE AMERICAN STORYBAG - Gerald Hausman (Boek)

#1 Amazon Best Seller in Native American Literature (May/June 2012)
#1 Amazon Best Seller in Native American Literature - Kindle Edition (Nov. 2012/Jan. 2013)


The stories in THE AMERICAN STORYBAG are a fleeting yet incisive look at American life, primarily on the road, but sometimes on or in the water, and have been collected by Gerald Hausman since 1965. Some of the tales are very brief and may be called "sudden stories". Many of them deal with human survival - an autistic boy lost in a trackless swamp; a young woman who falls in love with a supernatural creature; a young man who finds himself by finding his horse. Some of the tales are mere messages left on a cell phone. Others, like the story "Bimini Blue" tell about a Navajo healing ceremony given to a famous author who committed suicide. There are stories of ghosts, demons, fearsome predators, and wise old men who take the innocent in hand and lead them on the road to wisdom. These are tales of innocence and anguish, fantasy and fable, humor and heart. In them we hear the voices of a lost America - an America of folk heroes fading fast from view and crying out to be heard.


A Real Life Goliath…The Horse of the Navajo…Lady Bug Blues…Big Fat Harry Toe…A Tree Frog Named Houdini…Just Like Geronimo…The Ancient Itch…Man Taken Aboard UFO…Pirate Breath…Snail…Rattlesnake Pete, Goiter Healer…Of Lions and Men.


"Not since Mark Twain has a writer presented classic American storytelling so honestly. Hausman is at his best with this collection, truly entertaining."

- Hilary Hemingway, author of "Hemingway in Cuba", on THE AMERICAN STORYBAG

"...it [Tunkashila] is like the wind one hears on the plains, steady, running, full of music."

- N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "House Made of Dawn"

"...an eloquent tribute to the first great storytellers of America."

- The New York Times Book Review on "Tunkashila"


Gerald Hausman, author of over 70 books, has traveled widely in America as a professional storyteller and public speaker. His work in Native American studies has been aired on radio coast-to-coast and cited in The New York Times and many other national and international publications. Mr. Hausman has received 35 awards and honors from the American Folklore Society; Bank Street College; New York Public Library; National Council of Social Studies; Parents Choice; Children's Book Council; Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for his books, some of which have been adapted for film, many of which have been used in classrooms around the world. His collection of Native American origin stories, "How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet" has reached over one million readers and his numerous books about Bob Marley, co-authored by Cedella Marley, have been reprinted each year since the 1990s. Mr. Hausman has been called "a native of the world" by teachers and educators in all walks of life.

As a fan of good writing and American folklore, I have to say that this collection beats everything I've come across in my life in this genre. Gerald Hausman's writing is at times lyrical, evocative, mesmerizing - and always entertaining. The stories are interesting and varied. At times, I wondered how one person could have had so many interesting life experiences and garnered so many stories. The interview at the end of the book helps display the author in a personal light and I imagine he's a very wise soul.

His tales made me want to jump out of my confined, routine way of life and either hit the road or at least start walking somewhere to meet some new people. I quickly read through these tales all at once, but one could also appreciate them slowly, one each day, for they are short and easy to digest. I recommend it to everyone, and I'm going to look for Mr. Hausman's other writings.

These stories are told so simply, and yet with such a real sense of place and time - I can smell hot earth, rain, feel the sun. I'd say that Mr. Hausman is
lucky for having met all the people he did, and learning so much from them: their stories, their ways, their real selves. But it's never luck that does it, it's believing in himself and going out there and embracing the world...a little luck doesn't hurt, but I think he draws it to himself. I don't mean "one" draws it, I mean Gerald Hausman somehow does it.

I so enjoyed all the American Storybag stories!
I especially loved reading the personal ones about Ernest Hemingway and the Blessingway,
George the Parrot, the Tree Frog and of course, Jesus on Horseback.
I loved all the stories - all the mythology, the dreams, the visions, the ghosts. I also thought the
writing story with friend Roger Zalazny - was incredibly touching and fascinating about writing.
How lucky for us that Gerald Hausman shares these treasures of his life with us.

This wondrous, magical, folkloric collection is meant to be sipped slowly and savored!


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