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Mondays on the Dark Night of the Moon: Himalayan Foothill Folktales

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Kirin Narayan, in collaboration with Urmila Devi Sood
NEW YORK, OXFORD: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS,1997
336 PAGES

Reviewed by Joanna Kirkpatrick

Teachers of Indian Studies in grades 11 through undergraduate will do well to look closely at this book. It offers accessible riches for the curious, peer-oriented student as well as for more academic readers. The author worked closely with her Himalayan Kangra story teller, Urmila, to gain insight into her ideas and interpretations. Thus, she has warmed her study with the flavors of personal contact—between herself and Urmila, and also between Urmila, her extended family, and the broader group of high caste women neighbors and associates in the village. Urmila presented the view of tale-telling as social action. For her, the ultimate motive for the telling and remembering of tales was the formation, recollection, and support of human relationships.