"A charming variety of folktales from various regions of Morocco. The book’s value is greatly increased by the technical analysis of the tales by El-Shamy, a professional folklorist. . . . Recommended"—Choice
Drawing on stories he heard as a boy from female relatives, Jilali El Koudia presents a cross section of utterly bewitching narratives. Filled with ghouls and fools, kind magic and wicked, eternal bonds and earthly wishes, these are mesmerizing stories to be savored, studied, or simply treasured. Varied genres include anecdotes, legends, and animal fables, and some tales bear strong resemblance to European counterparts, for example Aamar and his Sister (Hansel and Gretel) and Nunja and the White Dove (Cinderella). All capture the heart of Morroco and the soul of its people.
In an enlightening introduction, El Koudia mourns the loss of the teller of tales in the marketplace, and he makes it clear that storytelling, born of memory and oral tradition, could vanish in the face of mass and electronic media.
Jilali El Koudia is an acclaimed Moroccan literary critic, writer, and translator. He is the author of Moroccan Short Stories and the translator of many Moroccan literary works.
Roger Allen is emeritus professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include The Arabic Novel: An Historical and Critical Introduction, and a co-translation of In Search of Walid Masoud by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.
Hasan El-Shamy is emeritus professor of folklore in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. He is the editor and translator of Folktales of Egypt and editor of Popular Stories of Ancient Egypt.