Storytellers by Corki Miller and Mary Ellen Snodgrass. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1998. ISBN 0-7864-0470-1 324 pp. $55.

I didn't expect to get caught up reading this book since it is a biographical directory, but I did. One hundred and twenty English speaking storytellers world wide are listed here, and some of their biographies read like stories.

While the majority of tellers are from the U.S., there are also tellers from Iraq, Ireland, Australia, Scotland, Guyana, Austria, Cuba, South Africa, Norway, England, and Canada. The Canadians listed are Bob Barton, Johnny Moses, and Dan Yashinsky.

I'll get my negative comments out of the way right now: in the listing of tellers by state (if in U.S.) or country, Canadian tellers are listed by province, without any indication that they are Canadian. Dan Yashinsky is listed under Michigan, where he was born, rather than Canada where he has lived since 1972, and where he is one of the founding fathers of the Canadian storytelling movement; and Johnny Moses is listed under British Columbia where he was born, rather than Washington State where he now lives.

With those errors noted, I can now tell you the positive things which will make you want to take a look at this book. First, the reader is given basic information on each teller. You'll have the addresses, phone number and website of the teller. You will read about style, target audience, type of material, and any props or instruments that are used. Next comes the teller's biography, including such information as how the teller came to storytelling as well as family background. The entries conclude with a bibliography, audiography" videography" listing of awards, and sources for further information about each teller. A glossary lists terms and acronyms which might be unfamiliar to non-tellers, and an eclectic bibliography lists works that storytellers mention most frequently as influencing their careers.

Most of the well known tellers whom one would expect to find here are here, as well as some others who are probably better known, within their own state or region. There is no indication of how the authors selected the tellers for inclusion, but it sure looks to me as if they did a good job. A handy reference tool for libraries, promoters, and the media, and a good read for those who want to know more about professional tellers.

The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 2, June 1998
Mot de passe oublié?