This anthology of treasures from the oral literature of Native California, assembled by an editor admirably sensitive to language, culture, and history, will delight scholars and general readers alike. Herbert Luthin's generous selection of stories, anecdotes, myths, reminiscences, and songs is drawn from a wide sampling of California's many Native cultures, and although a few pieces are familiar classics, most are published here for the first time, in fresh literary translations. The translators, whether professional linguists or Native scholars and storytellers, are all acknowledged experts in their respective languages, and their introductions to each selection provide welcome cultural and biographical context. Augmenting and enhancing the book are Luthin's engaging, informative essays on topics that range from California's Native languages and oral-literary traditions to critical issues in performance, translation, and the history of California literary ethnography.
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"This unique and original book sets the standard for such volumes. I can't see anyone coming along for quite some time who would be able to supersede it or top it for quality and inclusiveness."—Brian Swann, editor of Coming to Light
"It is a masterful treatment of oral literature...a wonderful combination of great verbal art and sound scholarship, carefully crafted so that the collection begins and ends with a powerful creation tale."—Leanne Hinton, author of Flutes of Fire
"Since each of the contributing specialists has first-hand familiarity with the material, the translations are of unusual authenticity and the annotations are of unusual insightfulness. Luthin's own introductory sections are especially vivid and well-informed."—William Bright, author of A Coyote Reader
Herbert W. Luthin is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Clarion University.
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Book Description University of California Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110520222695