Next Teller, A Book of Canadian Storytelling by Dan Yashinsky. Charlottetown, PEI: Ragweed Press, 1994. ISBN0-921556-46-2 246 p.
Toronto storyteller Dan Yashinsky says in his introduction to Next Teller, that storytelling is hero's. He ought to know, and I think his work as teller, writer, and innovator in the Canadian storytelling scene should earn him a hero's honours.
Next Teller is a collection of stories told by tellers living in Canada. The stories, like the tellers, come from a variety of cultures and traditions. They are arranged in five sections: Curious children, Tricksters, Lovers, Hauntings, and Tellers' Tales. Each section is introduced by Yashinsky in a "voiceover”, and each story is introduced bv the teller whose story it is.
There is method to the order of the sections: ""Growing up, learning to use your wits, meeting Worldmaker in his/her Trickster shape, loving and misloving, facing death – and letting your wolves go free. That's how the book moves."
The collection is a rich one, beautifully introduced and framed by Yashinsky's insightful and graceful prose. And when you finish, and you are replete with stories, remember Yashinsky's admonition to be courageous and say that you'll be the one who’ll remember. You take responsibility for making sure the stories don't disappear. You be the next teller.
The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 1, March 1996