The first book of Kurdish folktales to appear in English, A Fire in My Heart provides a comprehensive introduction to this little known and historically important culture.
The purpose of this volume is to introduce readers to the Kurdish people, their history, land, culture and stories. This unique collection, the first of its kind in English, features tales collected first-hand by the author during several years of travel to the Kurdish region of Turkey as well as stories translated from small tale collections and from additional contributors. From the Kurdish Cinderella story and humorous animal tales to stories based on legendary figures, for example the Herculean Rustemê Zal, these thirty-three tales from the varied regions of Kurdistan and the four major dialects are a wonderful resource for storytellers, folklorists and scholars. A Fire In My Heart also serves as a well-rounded reference and program resource for educators and librarians, introducing students and the public to this ancient culture. The book is augmented by a detailed map of the region, traditional games and recipes as well as by rare color photos from Iraqi-Kurdistan in 1955 and recent photos of village life. All levels.
REVIEWS FOR A FIRE IN MY HEART:
“The stories, along with the wealth of cultural and historical background provided, create a valuable book that can be offered without reservation by teachers to students of folklore.” – Review, Western Folklore
“A labor of love and a magnificent achievement, this collection of tales, legends, recipes, games and history takes readers vividly into the traditional village life of the Kurds, a little-known and politically beleaguered ethnic group whose homeland straddles the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Supported partly by grants, Edgecomb traveled into Turkish Kurdistan, collecting stories from villagers whose language itself had been banned. The resulting book brings lively and unusual stories to light, each one carefully placed in its social and historical context.” —Storytelling Magazine
“This is the first book in my library covering tales from this specific region. A few of the tales are familiar but even those are interesting variants of stories collected from other regions. This book also contains the most detailed information about the culture from which the stories were collected and is illustrated throughout by photos of people going about their daily work, providing an insight into the lives of the people. The stories vary in length and cover a fascinating range of material.”
“From her own collecting efforts and from the contributions of several Kurdish friends Diane has amassed here a useful collection of Kurdish tales. The book includes also recipes and games. We are fortunate to have had these tales collected in this trying time for the Kurdish people. Diane is to be lauded for her efforts and Libraries Unlimited for its publication.”
—In The Wind