Let the Story and the Lies Come: A Critical Anthology of Folktales from Zanzibar


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Despite the fact that Kiswahili is a lingua franca of the east African region, the scarcity of criticism of Kiswahili indigenous literary forms in general and the dearth of literary analyses of Zanzibar’s rich oral tradition in particular, are very telling. scholarly forays in the area are dismally few and far between. The tradition is unwarranted, inexcusable, and inexplicable. In providing us with this critical anthology, Senkoro’s intervention in Let the Story and the Lies Come is, therefore, at once corrective, refreshing and timely, filling as it does the gap in scholarly enterprises preoccupied with decoding the form and content of Zanzibari folktales. The anthology’s approach allows the reader to go through the folktales in their original standard guise before subjecting them to critical analysis and appreciation. The tales can thus be used in a versatile manner. Moreover, that the folktales are contextualized within the wider taxonomy of Zanzibari oral literature makes it possible to study them in their own right or in relation to other genres. The anthology’s subject-matter and the accompanying folktales are important to students, scholars and general readers of oral literature, folklore, children’s literature, and comparative literature.

Professor Senkoro’s critical anthology of Zanzibari folktales, Let the Story and the Lies Come, is an erudite, illuminating, and lucid study of an integral aspect of oral literature, which is essentially Africa’s principal matrix of artistic expression. – Prof. Ken Walibora, Phd, Quality Manager Kiswahili, Nation Media Group. Let the story and the Lies Come unlocks interesting legends that are passed down orally from one generation to the next. Professor Senkoro’ powerful and creative mind has demonstrated its authority in oral literature criticism. His exploration of Zanzibari story pieces, and his oftentimes humorous examination of the little lies here and there, give the anthology an identity of its own. it provides an excellent foundation for discussion with college students and literary critics interested in African orature. – Prof. Aldin K. Mutembei, Former director, institute of Kiswahili studies, University of dar es salaam.

Prof. Senkoro’s book Let the Story and the Lies Come: A Critical Anthology of Folktales from Zanzibar is not only a beautiful caption of this orature, in the form of the sub-genre of folklore in its historical and cultural significance of the Zanzibari people, one of the most remarkable custodians of original African literary expression, but also an artistic production that is nuanced with both indigenous African repertoire and eastern and Arabic blend of modernity. – dr Mahiri Mwita, Princeton institute for international and regional studies, Princeton University, UsA.

F.e.M.K. Senkoro holds a Ph.d. in Kiswahili from the University of dar es salaam, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, Canada. He is the immediate past Coordinator, Centre for Literature and African oral Traditions at the institute of Kiswahili Studies; former Head of Kiswahili Department, and former Associate Dean for Research and Publications, Faculty of Arts and social sciences all at the University of dar es salaam. He has published many articles and 10 books most of them on Kiswahili and African literature.

ISBN : 978-2-86978-703-2


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