Jamaican Folk Tales and Oral Histories by Laura Tanna ’65. This book merges popular culture and traditions with an academic appreciation for scholarship concerning myth and legend. The heart of the book is a comprehensive picture of the stock characters and varieties of oral story telling. But the homely tales recited by Jamaican elders and transliterated just as spoken, in local dialect, are put in the context of tales everywhere. The dialect is not hard to decipher. Here are two titles which give you the picture: Me fada’s Bes Ridin Haws and Whitebelly Meks Brer Nansi Kill Im Mada. The most important character, who turns up time and again, is Anansi (or Nansi) the trickster, who takes the form of a spider. Laura must have spent innumerable hours listening to these charming tales. Her work amounts to a preservation of culture. TV and movies have come to Jamaica, too. Without Laura’s work, this oral art would slip into oblivion. What a great loss that would be.