Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, February 3, 2014

An Old Book


January has been good to Anansi and me. People have been very kind, both in letting the rascally spider dangle from their web rafters to the wonderful comments left by all the many visitors. In a couple of comments people were interested in the old book from which I took the stories.

It is call, Jamaica Anansi Stories and was published in 1924. Martha Warren Beckwith traveled to Jamaica in the early 20s and recorded story tellers. She then returned to the United States and faithfully transcribed them in the original dialect. For those who might be interested in reading the stories in their original form, the book has been republished and is available on Amazon.

The book I have came to us through my grandmother's second husband. How it survived the tropics is a miracle in itself. When you open it, it has that distinct musty odor of old book. The pages are brown and brittle. Because the paper it was printed on is not acid free it will, in time, probably disintegrate. 

A few years before Hurricane Marilyn ripped the roof off the family home in 1995, my sister gave the book to me for safe keeping. And so, for now, it lives in air conditioned comfort along side other old books that have survived not only the tropics, but my childhood as well.

The pages even include music, which unfortunately I can't read. But it is a wonderful thing that even some melodies have been preserved. You can see all my sticky notes, stories I've marked as possible candidates for retelling.



Today Anansi is thrilled to be visiting with Carol Kilgore at Under the Tiki Hut. He is anticipating dangling among palm fronds, sipping cool pina coladas and eating "plenty mango dem."

You might also enjoy a short interview Carol did with me. Hope to see you there!

And don't forget, you have until February 16th to enter for a chance to win a copy of Anansi and Company at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow

18 comments:

  1. You need to find someone who can read music. They could then play the music.

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  2. Sounds like a fantastic book. And it's certainly gone through a lot. It's amazing it survived it all.

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  3. I love old books. I like imagining who held it when it was brand new and who it was passed on to and what their lives were like at the time they were reading it. Old books are full of secrets, mystery, and charm!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  4. Had the same thought as Alex - I would love to hear that music, if I were you. What a treasure that old book is Bish. And I loved your interview at Carole's blog.

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  5. LOVE old books! What a treasure this one is for you and your family. My sister-in-law has what (I think) is an orginal version of THE YEARLING. I'm quite jealous of it.

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  6. Oooh! I read music, but that's a little too low for my range. I'm betting it would sound lovely in my son's voice...

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  7. Oh, what a treasure to have. You had mentioned musicality ... but I never expected notes!!! So happy you have this old book. I have my grandmother's Book of Common Prayer ...

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing the book! What a treasure! I love that it has music included, and I am sure you can find someone to play some of it for you. That would be awesome! Even though this book is available in a new printed copy- your copy holds so many memories. :)

    ~Jess

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  9. Wow, look at that well-used book. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I love old books like that. I have some that were my mother's when she was a little girl. They're awesome.

    Anansi can hang at the Hut all he likes ... as long as he stays away from the mangos in the fruit bowl in my kitchen :)

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  11. Interesting looking book. I like how it includes music and text. It is almost like a multi-lingual book.

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  12. I love old books, letters, postcards with that same musty odor. I am surrounded by them!
    What will be your next story??

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  13. You are soooo talented...KUDO'S Bish!!

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  14. Obviously that book was saved for a purpose and just for you! I believe in a larger plan than we can see or even imagine. Congrats on doing a bang up job on your retellings!

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  15. That is so cool. I had some old books I wanted to keep, but they disintegrated (they were paperback). This will last, I'm sure.

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  16. Old books are such a treasure. Thanks for sharing about this one.

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  17. Hi Bish .. I saw and read this post ages ago - but sometimes Blogger or my connectivity play tricks on me ..

    Anyway I'm back again - what an amazing story to tell of your book, the history and about Anansi coming to life once again through your tales.

    How wonderful your beloved book can rest in peace in an air-conditioned home .. and further tales will be fun to read .. Cheers Hilary

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