One could almost accuse Ruby Dee of being a witch doctor. Her narration of this seminal collection of Black American folklore is nothing short of extraordinary. Using varying accents and dialects of the Deep South (Eatonville, Florida), she tells stories, she interrupts, she cuts up, she teases, she banters--she inhabits, not mere characters, but groups of characters--friends and neighbors gathered on the porch, in the dance hall, in a card game, hanging around the country store. Her off-the-beat vocal rhythms and prodigious energy create a narrative drive that propels the listener. And the stories are a treasure--traditional tales, explanatory tales, jokes and one-upmanship contests--here are ordinary people finding joy and comedy in everyday experience. As later African-American literature became increasingly militant, Hurston was accused of turning Black experience into a minstrel show. But her accomplishment, unappreciated for fifty years, was in revealing so intimately and eloquently how these people made it through their days--and nights. E.K.D. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/MAR 99]
Trade Ed. Harper Audio 1998
CS ISBN $18.00 Two cassettes
DD ISBN $11.90
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