The Snake Prince and Other Stories: Burmese Folk Tales
By Edna Ledgard

Collector and storyteller Ledgard was raised in Burma (now Myanmar) in the 1930s by missionary parents. Although she now lives in Connecticut, it is clear that the Burma of her childhood is a much-loved memory.

In addition to the 25 tales collected here, the author has provided an extensive introduction to Burmese history, religion, and culture, as well as a chronology, a glossary, and a suggested reading list. These materials add considerably to the reader's understanding of the collected stories.

The tales themselves are told with forthright simplicity, and the author neither hides nor makes excuses for the contradictions that are a part of any folk culture. Many of the stories will be instantly recognizable for the parallels they have within the Western folklore tradition; others will help illuminate an ancient culture facing the perils of modernization. The stories are ripe for telling, and this book is recommended for all folklore collections.

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1999 Myriam Grest Thein