Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Girl Who Married A Lion and Other Tales from Africa by Alexander McCall Smith

Gathered here is a beguiling selection of folktales from Zimbabwe and Botswana as retold by the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This treasury contains most of the stories previously collected in Children of Wax and seven new tales from the Setswana-speaking people of Botswana.

A girl discovers that her young husband might actually be a lion in disguise, but not before they have two sons who might actually be cubs . . . When a child made of wax follows his curiosity outside into the heat of daylight and melts, his siblings shape him into a bird with feathers made of leaves that enable him to fly into the light . . . Talking hyenas, milk-giving birds, clever cannibals who nonetheless get their comeuppance, and mysterious forces that reside in the landscape—these wonderful fables bring us the wealth, the variety, and the particular magic of traditional African lore.

There is not a lot more to say that the book description doesn't already say. Approximately 30 very short stories from Africa (mainly Botswana and it's surrounds), most with a message about how to treat the people around you, or other situations in life. They are very short, and the book itself is only about 180 pages so it was a very quick read.

Very entertaining.

Rating 4/5

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