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Folklore-Related Literature

The Folklore Wiki > Publications and Communications > Notable Books: Folklore-Related Literature

Thanks to Ronda Walker Weaver for compiling the initial draft from suggestions made by the publore community. Please add titles or annotations and edit as appropriate.

See also Mary Magoulick's "Folklore and Literature Texts:
Possible readings for a folklore and literature class, or readings of interest to folklorists & people who like folklore," which groups titles under relevant categories.

A Gravestone Made of Wheat, Will Weaver

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, Suzanne Joinson

About This Life, Barry Lopez

Alburquerque, Bless Me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya

American Gypsy, Oksana Marafioti

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales,  Oliver Sachs

Ballad novels, Sharyn McCrumb

Beet Queen, Louise Erdrich

Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in America, Linda Furiya

Berkheimer, Kate, ed.  Xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths.

Black Elk Speaks, John Neihardt, Black Elk

Bradley, Marion Zimmer.  The Mists of Avalon.

Byatt, A. S.  The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories. (Turkey and a folklorist)

Cherokee Dragon, Robert Conley

Child in Jerusalem, Felicity Ashbee 

Chingiz Aitmatov, The Day Lasts Longer than a Hundred Years

Composing A Life, Mary Catherine Bateson

Dandelion Wine and others, Ray Bradbury

Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather

Digging to America, Anne Tyler

Donohue, Keith.  The Stolen Child  (Changelings)(Chilling, very adult)

Dreams Underfoot, The Little Country, Charles de Lint

Ellis, Alice Thomas.  Fairy Tale;  The Inn at the Edge of the World;  The Sin Eater.  (Wales)

Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan

Far Afield, Susanna Kaysen

Farewell to Matyora, Valentin Rasputin

Gabriel Du Pre Mysteries, Peter Bowen

Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens

Gaiman, Neil.  American Gods;  Anansi Boys.

Graham, Joyce.  Some Kind of Fairy Tale (England/ Fairies)

Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Harmless People, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas  

Haunted Ballad Series, Deborah Grabien

Hot Water Man, Deborah Moggach

How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents,  Julia Alvarez

I Could Talk Old-Story Good, Dan Crowley

Irish novels, Erin Hart

Ismail Kadare, The File on H.

It's How You Pick the Crab: An Oral Portrait of Eastern Shore Crab Picking, Kelly Feltault

Ivey, Eowyn.  The Snow Child. (Alaska,  AT 703 retold)

Jorge Amado, especially Tent of Miracles, Home is the Sailor, and Shepherds of the Night

Jose Maria Arguedas, Yawar Fiesta, and Deep Rivers

Journey for Joedel, Guy Owen

Kadare, Ismail.  The File on H.  (folklorists in Albania)

Kay, Guy Gavriel.  Under Heaven (China)

Ladies Auxiliary, The Outside World, Tova Mirvis

Last Buckaroo, Mackey Hedges

Last Cowboys at the End of the World: The Gauchos of Patagonia, Nick Reding

Le Trou dans le mur: fabliau, Jean Arceneaux

Lewis, C. S.  Till We have Faces

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Helen Simonson

Mama Day, Gloria Naylor

Marge Piercy, Fly Away Home

Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach

Memories of a Catholic Childhood, Mary McCarthy

Miller, Madeline.  The Song of Achilles

Miriam’s Kitchen: A Memoir, Elizabeth Erlich

Mona in the Promised Land, Who's Irish, Gish Jen

My Life in France, Julia Child, Paul Prudhomme

Number Our Days, Barbara Myerhoff

Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

Popular Music from Vittula, Mikael Niemi

Primo Levi, The Monkey's Wrench

Red Tent, Anita Diamant

Return to Laughter, Eleanor Smith Bowen

Riding The White Horse Home, Teresa Jordan

River of Earth, James Still

Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Paul Torday

Seal Woman, Solveig Eggerz

Seasonal, Betty Belanus

See, Lisa.  Peony in Love (China)

Seventh Son, Saints, Orson Scott Card

Shepherds of the Night, Jorge Amado

Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa, Knesella

Short story - “Flying Home” and novels, Ralph Ellison

Silent Dancing, Judith Ortiz Cofer

Silko, Leslie Marmon.  Ceremony

Song of the Lark (and others), Willa Cather

Stewart, Mary.  The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills; The Last Enchantment.

Synge, Ursula.  Land of the Heroes: A Retelling of the Kalevala.

Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl

Tent of Miracles, Jorge Amado

Tepper, Sheri.  The Gate to Women's Country.

The Anarchist Bastard: Growing Up Italian in America, Joanna Clapps Herman

The Burning of Bridget Cleary, Angela Bourke

The Conjure Woman, Charles W. Chestnutt

The Day Lasts Longer than a Hundred Years, Chingiz Aitmatov

The Fault in our Stars, John Green

The Gypsies, Jan Yoors

The Harmony Silk Factory, Tash Aw

The Horse of Pride: Life in a Breton Village, June Guicharnaud

The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

The Lone Ranger & Tonto, Fistfight in Heaven, “Smoke Signals”, Sherman Alexie

The Milagro Beanfield War, John Nichols

The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City, Jennifer Toth

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman

The Truest Pleasure, Robert Morgan

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

These Is My Words, Nancy Turner

Thompson, David.  People of the Sea.  (Selkies/ Scotland and Ireland)

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Tolkein.  J R R.  Lord of the Rings.

Tortilla Curtain, TC Boyle

Troll: A Love Story, Johanna Sinisalo

Unsworth, Barry The Songs of the Kings.

Urquhart, Jane.  Away  (Ireland and Canada and a folklorist)

Walton, Evangeline.  Prince of Annwn; The Song of Rhiannon; The Children of Llyr; The Island of the Mighty.

Walton, Jo.  Among Others. (England/fairies)

War Woman, Robert Conley

Wicked, and others, Gregory Maguire

Canongate Myth series (short modern novels based on myth, and written by distinguished world writers)

Armstrong, Karen.  A Short History of Myth.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005.
Atwood, Margaret.  The Penelopiad.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005.
Byatt, A. S. Ragnarok: The End of the Gods.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2011.
Faber, Michael.  The Fire Gospel. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2008.
Grossman, David.  Lion's Honey: The Myth of Samson.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005.
Hatoum, Milton.  Orphans of Eldorado.  Edinburgh: Canongate
Kirino, Matuso.  The Goddess Chronicle.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2008, 2012.
Ostergren, Klas.  The Hurricane Party. Edinburgh: Canongate
Pelevin, Viktor.  The Helmet of Horror. Edinburgh: Canongate
Pullman, Philip.  The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.  Edinburgh: Canongate
Smith, Alexander McCall.  Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2006.
Smith, Ali.  Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2009.
Tong, Su.  Binu and the Great Wall.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2006.
Ugresic, Dubravka.  Baba Yaga Laid an Egg.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2007.
Vickers, Sally.  Where Three Roads Meet.   Edinburgh: Canongate, 2007.
Winterson, Jeanette.  Weight.  Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005.



Alice Walker

Angela Carter

Chaim Potok

Donald Davis

Flannery O'Connor

Gale Sears

Ivan Doig

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Leslie Marmon Silko

Manley Wade Wellman

Norman MacLean

Norman Maclean

Sandra Cisneros

Tony HIllerman

Wallace Stegner

Willa Cather

William Least-Heat Moon


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