Translations of forty-two Bulgarian folktales, together with introductory essay and notes for teachers and storytellers following each story, with a list of Resources Cited. Each folktale expresses an aspect of Bulgarian folk culture, presents characters who are clever enough to avoid ill-conceived courtship, kind enough to esteem even the poorest of neighbors, tricky enough to evade shysters, or sly enough to remain independent in the face of great power. Each of these traits has helped the Bulgarian people survive and thrive in a relatively poor, mountainous environment for more than fourteen centuries. In celebrating these traits and others, the folktales collected here honor the character of a people.
About the Author
Awarded the International Storybridge Award by her peer storytellers (USA), Priscilla Howe collected stories from national and academic archives while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Bulgaria. Her translations have earned kudos from the international storytelling community. She performs these and other stories at venues in North America and Europe. Howe lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
"Captivating, international, inviting, and unique: these are the stories of Priscilla Howe. It's rare to be able to say that a reader has probably never seen or heard these stories, but for this collection, it's most likely true. Perfected by decades of live storytelling, the energy and enthusiasm that Priscilla brings to story is evident here in the writing of these particular tales. Enjoy this treat for yourself or as a gift to anyone who loves diverse folktales."
— Sean Buvala, founder and director of storyteller.net
“Priscilla Howe dove deep into Bulgarian traditional folklore. Through her always impeccable research, skillful translation, and informative notes, she presents the most intriguing of tales as only a seasoned storyteller can do. Howe has gifted us with a collection of captivating, accessible, tellable stories. Clever, Kind, Tricky and Sly is not only an absolute delight, but is a unique and important contribution to storytelling literature.”
— Beth Horner, Circle of Excellence storyteller
"This is a well-researched collection of folktales from a country that is woefully underrepresented among English-language folktale resources. The fact that the author is a performing storyteller makes the tales not mere translations, but retellings that come alive from the page. Familiar tales shine in new colors, showing off the Bulgarian cultural identity, and humor is found in the most unexpected places. The personal notes Priscilla Howe appends to each story add a comfortable, telling-tales-at-the-kitchen-table kind feel to this lovely book." — Zalka Csenge Virág, PhD, international storyteller from Hungary, author of Dancing on Blades: Rare and exquisite folktales from the Carpathian Mountains
"Howe, a scholar of the folktale, makes connections to stories from other continents and cultures, but she is never pedantic. She takes delight in the stories, especially the Clever Peter tales in the second half of the book. This book will be of use to storytellers because Howe includes notes on suggested audiences for certain tales."
— Lori Brack, author of Museum Made of Breath
"A delightful collection of folktales and anecdotes from a country rich in culture and folktales. Storytellers will recognize classic characters with new names and enjoy getting to know new characters, who will quickly become favorites. The notes preceding the stories offer insight into the characters and traditions, as well as conveying the deep appreciation and respect Ms. Howe has for Bulgaria. Any story collection will be enriched and brightened by the addition of this book, as readers and storytellers can return to it again and again for inspiration and entertainment!"
— Rachel Ann Harding, producer of Story Story Podcast
“Priscilla Howe weaves an intricate and beautiful tapestry of personal stories and folktales sharing the warmth and vitality of the Bulgarian soul.”