Lies and Other Tall Tales

by Zora Neale Hurston and Christopher Myers

From the first words of its scintillating introduction, Lies and Other Tall Tales... read more

From the first words of its scintillating introduction, Lies and Other Tall Tales is a linguistic delight. Back in the day when liars “could tell a lie so good, you didn’t even want to know the truth” Zora Neale Hurston’s work as an anthropologist took her back to her roots in the south, where she collected, among other things, the unique comparative lies told in African American communities in a tradition called “playing the dozens.” Today, playing the dozens “includes mama jokes and humorous dissing” Christopher Myers explains in his artist’s note that concludes this collection of some of those distinctive and funny turns of phrase Hurston gathered. “I seen a man so ugly he can go behind a jimson weed and hatch monkeys. . . The tallest man I ever seen could stand knee deep in hell and shake hands with Gabriel.” In addition to his lively verbal contributions in the introduction and artist’s note, Myers provide a distinctive visual interpretation to each of the lies and tall tales presented in a singular volume that grounds exchanges familiar to many older children and young adults today in historical and cultural traditon. (Ages 10–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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