Adventures of High John the Conqueror (American Storytelling)

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9780874837742: Adventures of High John the Conqueror (American Storytelling)

American Library Association Notable Children's Book & International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice


High John the Conqueror, sometimes called simply High John or John, was a slave trickster who always outwit Old Master. Much like Greek slaves and Aesop's animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John's exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten. Sanfield's skillful storytelling combined with simple black and white illustrations will transport readers to a different time. Sanfield weaves in historical context with this folktale about resourcefulness and courage.

Steve Sanfield is an award-winning author, poet and storyteller, as well as the founder of the Sierra Storytelling Festival. One of the pioneers of the American storytelling renaissance, he has been honored with the first leadership award from the National Storytelling Association, a Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, and a lifetime Achievement Award from the Storytelling Association of California.


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About the Author:

Steve Sanfield Bio:

Steve Sanfield was an award-winning author, poet, folklorist, professional storyteller, and even a Freedom Rider, as well as a long time resident of San Juan Ridge in Northern California. Sanfield was the author of more than 30 books, including: The Adventures of High John the Conqueror, Bit by Bit, A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry, and the recently published The Right Place: 77 At 77. Throughout his life, Steve enjoyed collaborating with other writers, poets and storytellers. He actively encouraged other writers and poets, critiqued their work, and enjoyed working creatively with other artists throughout his distinguished career.


Sanfield's creative work not only spanned many decades, it also took many forms. He was called “the master of American Haiku” by Michael McClure and “the master of myth, lore, and word-hoard” by Gary Snyder, Leonard Cohen wrote that Sanfield "writes about the small things / which stand for all things.” Sanfield enjoyed collaborating with musicians since his college days when he read in live performances with various jazz groups at George Wein's Storyville in Boston. He continued his exploration of poetry and jazz working with small jazz ensembles at the original Troubador in Los Angeles. Sanfield collaborated with accomplished musicians and composers as varied as Terry Riley and Jay Seideman. “Five Seasons: A Concerto for Voice and Musical Instruments” was his first collaboration with Paul Humphreys.


Considered one of the founders of the American Storytelling Renaissance, Steve became the first full-time Storyteller-in-Residence in the United States in 1977 under the sponsorship of the California Arts Council. Although he was known as one of the country's foremost Jewish storytellers, his versions of African-American folktales were highly regarded and critically acclaimed. Founder and artistic director of the Sierra Storytelling Festival at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, he had been featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and at numerous venues throughout the United States.

Review:

High John the conqueror was a figure in trickster stories told by African-American slaves; the sixteen stories in this collection illustrate moments in the life of this folk character. Among the stories included here are tales of High Joh the conqueror as a free man after Emancipation, when Old Master vanished, only to be replaced by Old Boss. (The Multicultural Review)

The 16 segments of this collection are filled with the laudable escapades of High John the Conqueror, a fellow about whom slaves told trickster stories (that somehow never reached the ears of white owners). In one tale, which vividly illustrates the truism "knowledge means power," John (who is determined to be the smartest slave on the plantation) sits under the kitchen window nightly, listening to Master and Missy's conversations. Each night Master outlines a different task John will be assigned the following day. When Master goes to inform John of the task, John either has the job underway or completed. Master, believing John to be omniscient, bets the plantation on the slave's ability. What follows that bet (and courses through all these stories) is a combination of remarkable folktelling with the ironic circumstances wrought by human beings making slaves of other human beings. A superior companion to Afro-American Folktales edited by Roger D. Abrahams. (Publishers Weekly)

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Book Description August House Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. American Library Association Notable Children s Book International Reading Association Young Adults Choice High John the Conqueror, sometimes called simply High John or John, was a slave trickster who always outwit Old Master. Much like Greek slaves and Aesop s animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John s exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten. Sanfield s skillful storytelling combined with simple black and white illustrations will transport readers to a different time. Sanfield weaves in historical context with this folktale about resourcefulness and courage. Steve Sanfield is an award-winning author, poet and storyteller, as well as the founder of the Sierra Storytelling Festival. One of the pioneers of the American storytelling renaissance, he has been honored with the first leadership award from the National Storytelling Association, a Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, and a lifetime Achievement Award from the Storytelling Association of California. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780874837742

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Book Description August House Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. American Library Association Notable Children s Book International Reading Association Young Adults Choice High John the Conqueror, sometimes called simply High John or John, was a slave trickster who always outwit Old Master. Much like Greek slaves and Aesop s animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John s exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten. Sanfield s skillful storytelling combined with simple black and white illustrations will transport readers to a different time. Sanfield weaves in historical context with this folktale about resourcefulness and courage. Steve Sanfield is an award-winning author, poet and storyteller, as well as the founder of the Sierra Storytelling Festival. One of the pioneers of the American storytelling renaissance, he has been honored with the first leadership award from the National Storytelling Association, a Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, and a lifetime Achievement Award from the Storytelling Association of California. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780874837742

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Book Description August House Publishers, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. American Library Association Notable Children s Book International Reading Association Young Adults Choice High John the Conqueror, sometimes called simply High John or John, was a slave trickster who always outwit Old Master. Much like Greek slaves and Aesop s animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John s exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten. Sanfield s skillful storytelling combined with simple black and white illustrations will transport readers to a different time. Sanfield weaves in historical context with this folktale about resourcefulness and courage. Steve Sanfield is an award-winning author, poet and storyteller, as well as the founder of the Sierra Storytelling Festival. One of the pioneers of the American storytelling renaissance, he has been honored with the first leadership award from the National Storytelling Association, a Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, and a lifetime Achievement Award from the Storytelling Association of California. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780874837742

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