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Serpent's Tale

Snakes in Folklore and Literature

Edited by Gregory McNamee

Title Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 10/11/2000

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2225-4

List Price: $23.95

Serpent's Tale

Snakes in Folklore and Literature

Edited by Gregory McNamee

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  • Description
  • Reviews

“We travel the world,” writes Gregory McNamee, “and wherever we go there are snake stories to entertain us.” Here are some fifty diverse and unusual accounts of serpents from cultures across time and around the globe: snakes that talk, jump, and dance; snakes that transform into other creatures; snakes that just . . . watch.

Many selections are drawn from the rich oral traditions of peoples in every clime that supports reptiles, from the Akimel O’odham of North America to the Mensa Bet-Abrahe of Africa to the Mungkjan of Australia. Included as well are such writings as prayers from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, a poem by Emily Dickinson, and a journal entry by Charles Darwin.

What we read about snakes in The Serpent’s Tale is just as fascinating for what it says about us, for there always will be something primordial about our connection to them. That bond is evident in these stories: in how we associate snakes with nature’s elemental forces, how we attribute special qualities to their eyes and skin, and how they preside over all phases of our existence, from creation to death to resurrection.

This absorbing collection is an intriguing and novel set of stories that will be unfamiliar to most people. The book is captivating because of the presentation of an unusual array of stories.

—Whit Gibbons, University of Georgia

About the Author/Editor

GREGORY MCNAMEE is the author or editor of numerous books, including Blue Mountains Far Away, Grand Canyon Place Names, A Desert Bestiary, The Sierra Club Desert Reader, and Gila: The Life and Death of an American River. His work appears regularly in such publications as Outside, New Times, and the Bloomsbury Review. McNamee lives in Tucson, Arizona.