Douglas & McIntyre
A Story as Sharp as a Knife

Book details:

March 2011
ISBN 978-1-55365-839-9
Paperback - Trade
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
544 pages
24 b&w photographs
Social Science / Folklore & Mythology SOC011000
$24.95 CAD

Douglas & McIntyre

A Story as Sharp as a Knife

The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

A seminal collection of Haida oral literature; now in a gorgeous new package


A seminal collection of Haida oral literature; now in a gorgeous new edition, and updated with a new introduction

“Bringhurst’s achievement is gigantic, as well as heroic. It’s one of those works that rearranges the inside of your head—a profound meditation on the nature of oral poetry and myth, and on the habits of thought and feeling that inform them.” MARGARET ATWOOD

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton’s careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor’s Book of the Year by the Times of London.

About the Author

Robert  Bringhurst

Robert Bringhurst

Robert Bringhurst, one of Canada’s leading poets and book designers, worked and studied with Bill Reid throughout the 1980s. The fruits of this association ...

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