The Girl Who Married A Lion : Folktales From Africa, Paperback Book

The Girl Who Married A Lion : Folktales From Africa Paperback

Illustrated by Naomi Holwill

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


How can a girl possibly have married a lion? How can a man have a tree growing out of his head? And how can a woman have children made of wax? The stories in this collection make these questions seem simple, everyday ones - then deftly supplies simple, everyday answers. Surprising and humorous, these beautifully rendered tales demonstrate McCall Smith's renowned storytelling skills.


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This is a collection of fables, legends and myths from two countries in Africa – Zimbabwe and Botswana. These traditional stories share many characteristics with folk tales from neighboring regions. But while they may be a part of the oral literature of Southern Africa, the lessons taught are universal in that they explore emotions common to all humankind – greed, envy, pride, ambition, love, kindness, generosity. <br/><br/>Smith explains in the forward that he has done little more than record the stories, though he has added some description of landscape and expanded on emotional reactions to make them more understandable and entertaining to a wider readership. <br/><br/>I found them interesting – some more than others – but I got bored. Part of this I think is due to my realization about half way through the collection that I was missing the humor and “lilt of the language’ present in Smith’s <i><b>#1 Ladies Detective Agency</b></i> series. I guess I had expected to find more his signature style in his telling of these stories. I’m sure I would be similarly bored by a steady diet of Aesop’s fables or The Brothers Grimm. After all, in an oral tradition you would hear only one or two such stories at a time, not 30 in one sitting. <br/>