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Gerald Hausman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description


#1 Amazon Best Seller in Native American Literature (May/June 2012)
#1 Amazon Best Seller in Native American Literature - Kindle Edition (Nov. 2012/Jan. 2013)


The stories in THE AMERICAN STORYBAG are a fleeting yet incisive look at American life, primarily on the road, but sometimes on or in the water, and have been collected by Gerald Hausman since 1965. Some of the tales are very brief and may be called "sudden stories". Many of them deal with human survival - an autistic boy lost in a trackless swamp; a young woman who falls in love with a supernatural creature; a young man who finds himself by finding his horse. Some of the tales are mere messages left on a cell phone. Others, like the story "Bimini Blue" tell about a Navajo healing ceremony given to a famous author who committed suicide. There are stories of ghosts, demons, fearsome predators, and wise old men who take the innocent in hand and lead them on the road to wisdom. These are tales of innocence and anguish, fantasy and fable, humor and heart. In them we hear the voices of a lost America - an America of folk heroes fading fast from view and crying out to be heard.


A Real Life Goliath…The Horse of the Navajo…Lady Bug Blues…Big Fat Harry Toe…A Tree Frog Named Houdini…Just Like Geronimo…The Ancient Itch…Man Taken Aboard UFO…Pirate Breath…Snail…Rattlesnake Pete, Goiter Healer…Of Lions and Men.


"Not since Mark Twain has a writer presented classic American storytelling so honestly. Hausman is at his best with this collection, truly entertaining."

- Hilary Hemingway, author of "Hemingway in Cuba", on THE AMERICAN STORYBAG

" [Tunkashila] is like the wind one hears on the plains, steady, running, full of music."

- N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "House Made of Dawn"

" eloquent tribute to the first great storytellers of America."

- The New York Times Book Review on "Tunkashila"


Gerald Hausman, author of over 70 books, has traveled widely in America as a professional storyteller and public speaker. His work in Native American studies has been aired on radio coast-to-coast and cited in The New York Times and many other national and international publications. Mr. Hausman has received 35 awards and honors from the American Folklore Society; Bank Street College; New York Public Library; National Council of Social Studies; Parents Choice; Children's Book Council; Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for his books, some of which have been adapted for film, many of which have been used in classrooms around the world. His collection of Native American origin stories, "How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet" has reached over one million readers and his numerous books about Bob Marley, co-authored by Cedella Marley, have been reprinted each year since the 1990s. Mr. Hausman has been called "a native of the world" by teachers and educators in all walks of life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Stay Thirsty Press, An Imprint of Stay Thirsty Publishing, A Division of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc. (October 17, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047O2C8S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Collection from a Master Storyteller January 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
As a fan of good writing and American folklore, I have to say that this collection beats everything I've come across in my life in this genre. Gerald Hausman's writing is at times lyrical, evocative, mesmerizing - and always entertaining. The stories are interesting and varied. At times, I wondered how one person could have had so many interesting life experiences and garnered so many stories. The interview at the end of the book helps display the author in a personal light and I imagine he's a very wise soul.

His tales made me want to jump out of my confined, routine way of life and either hit the road or at least start walking somewhere to meet some new people. I quickly read through these tales all at once, but one could also appreciate them slowly, one each day, for they are short and easy to digest. I recommend it to everyone, and I'm going to look for Mr. Hausman's other writings.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Storybag January 13, 2011
By Euterpe
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These stories are told so simply, and yet with such a real sense of place and time - I can smell hot earth, rain, feel the sun. I'd say that Mr. Hausman is
lucky for having met all the people he did, and learning so much from them: their stories, their ways, their real selves. But it's never luck that does it, it's believing in himself and going out there and embracing the world...a little luck doesn't hurt, but I think he draws it to himself. I don't mean "one" draws it, I mean Gerald Hausman somehow does it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transporting & Unforgettable! January 12, 2011
By ESel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed all the American Storybag stories!
I especially loved reading the personal ones about Ernest Hemingway and the Blessingway,
George the Parrot, the Tree Frog and of course, Jesus on Horseback.
I loved all the stories - all the mythology, the dreams, the visions, the ghosts. I also thought the
writing story with friend Roger Zalazny - was incredibly touching and fascinating about writing.
How lucky for us that Gerald Hausman shares these treasures of his life with us.

This wondrous, magical, folkloric collection is meant to be sipped slowly and savored!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of something for everyone! March 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Some laughs, an occasional tear, and a few pensive moments. A perfect book for reading at bedtime! I wondered when the next volume is coming?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection! August 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great collection of stories from all over, told in a strong voice. I enjoy reading the introductions to each story, giving thought to the origin. Another collection, please?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read March 9, 2013
By Don
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the stories, particularly Esther's directions to her home in Corrales, New Mexico a route I often traveled. Smell the dust now even tho I now live in Florida.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Storybag by Gerald Hausman October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This collection of short stories by Gerald Hausman is one of the best I have read in quite a while. Far reaching, interesting with just the right amount of the unusual, funny, creepy and heart wrenching they will keep you interested and engaged right up to the end. This collection left me wanting more.

Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection of stories! June 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One great story after another with wonderful variety. One minute I'm reading about a young David who faced his own real-life Goliath, then a heart-deep tale of a Navajo horseman, then a story by a lost child. One great tale after another. I kept reading "just one more".

The tale of the young boy with autism who was lost in a swamp and lived to tell about it was very special. Those who live with an outspoken animal will enjoy the story of George. The story about his parents brought a wistful smile. One story after another,

I'm hard pressed to choose a favorite story. Definitely would read more by this author and it is one of the few e-books I'd love to have in print on my own shelves. This would have been enjoyable to read aloud to my girls when they were small.

I used Amazon's Kindle for PC to read the book which was a free download.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book I borrowed it but I will be buying it to add to my kindle collection. Gr. eat collection of tales folklore . My favorite was the mermaid one. Add it for any price. Read more
Published on March 22, 2012 by dulcimerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse with a whole lot to love
Hausman is a master. No question there. The American Storybag exemplifies this fact. Wonderful folklore, fantastic anecdotes, poetry at times and always poetry in prose. Read more
Published on March 13, 2012 by T. Zelazny
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Storybag
It is a wonderful gift to experience Gerald Hausman's storytelling. He is a treasure to humanity and this book testifies to that fact.
Published on March 13, 2012 by Holly Sedgwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories, great story teller...
Masterful telling, masterful writing - as close to Mark Twain as it gets. Hausman can weave a full grown, wondrous story in a single page.
Published on March 12, 2012 by Larry Traub
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bag of Wonderful Stories
Although I was reading these stories, I could just hear the voice of a storyteller in my head. These aren't just short stories, they are evocative tales and legends, doorways to... Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Athene Five
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories in the American Storybag
Before the world there was the thought of the world. Before the beginning there was a story about the beginning. Read more
Published on July 23, 2011 by Jon Huntress
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More About the Author

Gerald Hausman is the author of more than 70 books. His live storytelling has been praised by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, History Channel, and the Bank Street College of Education. He and his wife have received numerous awards in the field of children's literature.

"As a writer I have often been called a scribe. This is because in the gathering of oral tales, I have always tried to get the story right. To capture the flavor, the region and the moral as the original storyteller gave it to me. The NYT Book Review called my collection of American Indian stories, Tunkashila 'an eloquent tribute to the first great storytellers of America.'"

In addition to his 22 years of story gathering and telling in New Mexico, Gerald also spent 13 summers on the island of Jamaica where he ran an informal writing school with his wife, Lorry. Together they collected Anansi stories, stories from and about the Kebra Nagast, and traditional West Indian ghost stories.

"I remember when History Channel filmed tales from my book "Duppy Talk". My best friend Roy was not an actor, but because of his handsome face he was cast as the man who was enchanted by a mermaid. When I saw him on film, I asked Roy how he was able to do the underwater scene and keep that look of astonishment when he saw the made-up mermaid smiling on the river bank. He told me, 'That look on my face comes from the fact I can't swim. I was very scared.'"

Gerald teaches writing workshops in various parts of the United States and is most recently the author of "The American Storybag" -- 40 years of story gathering on and off the road. He lives on a barrier island in Florida.

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