Monday on the Dark Night of the Moon: Himalayan Foothill Folktales Told by Urmila Devi Sood / Edition 1

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Here are the twenty-one stories that Urmilaji told. On her instruction, I have divided the stories into two broad sets: tales associated with various women's rituals and tales for entertainment on long, cold winter nights.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Narayan (anthropology and South Asian studies, Univ. of Wisconsin; Love, Stars and All That, LJ 9/15/93) has produced a unique volume of folktales from a village in the foothills of the Himalayas. The collection functions on several levels. First, the 21 stories told by Sood ("Urmilaji") are divided into women's ritual tales and winter tales, including narratives of a dog-girl and a princess who marries a lion. Second, within and around each tale are comments from Urmilaji and her family as well as explanations of local customs and mores. Third, the author's scholarly and personal journey during her work with Urmilaji informs the whole. It tells of the growing affection between the two women and establishes Narayan's theme that "stories arise out of relationships, they are about relationships, and they forge relationships." An excellent work; recommended for all folktale collections.Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Greensburg, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195103496
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/19/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirin Narayan, Associate Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist. She is author of Storytellers, Saints and Scoundrels: Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching, which won the 1991 Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing and shared the Elsie Clews Parsons Prize for Folklore. She is also author of Love, Stars and All That, a novel about South Asian Americans.

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Table of Contents

A Note on Transliteration
List of Illustrations
Introduction 3
1 Across the Seven Seas 27
2 Daughter, My Little Bread! 41
3 First Sour, then Sweet 50
4 The Daughter-in-Law With No Groom 59
5 The Frog Groom 64
6 The Fragrant Melon 70
7 Under the Berry Bush 79
8 The Female Weevil Who Fasted 88
9 The Dog-Girl 95
10 The Skein Woman 101
11 The Twelve Years of Affliction 109
12 Earth into Gold 125
13 In the Court of Destiny 135
14 The Floating Flower 147
15 Heaven and Hell 154
16 The Two Gems 159
17 The Astrologers' Treachery 171
18 The Devouring Demoness 178
19 Love Like Salt 189
20 Fair with Freckles 193
21 The Girl Who Went on Quests 200
Afterword 207
Appendix: A Note on Translation 223
Acknowledgments 227
Notes 231
Bibliography 255
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2001

    Hearts and Minds through Stories

    This is a lovely and evocative book. The author brings us stories as an intimate of the women who tell them. Illuminating and graceful, the stories tell of life in a large sense, but the author shows us how their tellings grow out of particular lives and a specific setting. As I read the stories, I felt that I came to know Urmilaji, too, and the hardships and pleasures of the Himalyan village in which she lives. I use this book often in teaching and my students love it. It helps them understand India in a subtle and pleasing way, and shows them how stories are rich with many meanings.

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