Review in Storytelling, Self, Society

The Mullah offers 108 salaams to Dr Bird and to SSS for their fine review!

Our Old Friend, the Mullah:

A Review of

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

SSS cover

from Storytelling, Self, Society:

An interdisciplinary journal of storytelling studies

Volume 7, Number 2, April 2011, pp. 161 – 166

*

Our Old Friend, the Mullah: A Review of The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

Sandra Bird

[S]uresha, Ron J. The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero, Maple Shade: Lethe,  2011. $18.

The subtitle of Ron Suresha’s new collection of Nasruddin Khoja fables is Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero. It is always interesting to me that so many territories beyond the famed village of Aksehir, Turkey, lay claim to this popular persona. . . .

Suresha identifies the real strength of Nasruddin’s stories in context to world literature and story performance, that is, its power to build bridges between cultures. He relates a personal reference to the mullah stories, as they were [among the] the first stories he learned from his Israeli-American mother. Throughout his life he continued to collect these anecdotes, and as a young adult he found one of Idries Shah’s collections of Nasruddin stories on the shelves in an ashram library. . . .

The intended audience for Suresha’s collection is a contemporary audience of all ages. If the illustration cover by Sgott MacKenzie is any indication of a future market for this collection, we are likely to see Suresha’s book in use for secondary educational environments as well as personal libraries. Suresha refers to this text as a “contemporary retelling,” which is appropriate to the storytelling traditions of Turkey. The point of these stories is to speak to the audience in the language and metaphors that are familiar. Suresha acknowledges that he avoided the “more lurid and pejorative sexual, scatological, ethnic, racist, sexist and violent subjects,” but he [al]ludes to the possibility of including them in a forthcoming collection. I hope Suresha carries out this plan to bring the more compromising stories to an adult audience at a later date—after all, that is part and parcel of the trickster’s trade.

Sandra Bird, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Art Education in the Department of Visual Arts at Kennesaw State University (GA).

Order the complete review in SSS from Informaworld here.

New London Author Shares a Reading from His New Book

by rjs
Categories: Reviews
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Published on: January 10, 2011
Lovely article by Christy Wood for Patch.com on the premiere reading of the Nasruddin book

Ron Suresha at the Bean & Leaf, reading from his new collection of stories. Credit Christy Wood

New London Author Shares a Reading from His New Book

Ron Suresha Reads Persian Folk Tales at the Bean & Leaf on Sunday

By Christy Wood

In the aftermath of the weekend’s snowstorm, New Londoners gathered at the Bean and Leaf on Sunday to listen to local author Ron Suresha read stories from his collection The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin.  Nasruddin has been a popular folk hero in the Middle East for over 800 years; Suresha collected more than 350 stories featuring Nasruddin to include in his anthology, seeking to introduce the timeless folk hero and his humorous tales to a new, American audience.

Suresha is a native of Detroit, but has lived in New London for six years.  He studied creative writing at the University of Michigan and spent much of his adult life working in publishing.  Fifteen years ago Suresha decided that he wanted to collect the stories of Mullah Nasruddin and incorporate them in a modern, vernacular English text.

“The English text I found of the stories was written in the 1950s.  The language was imperial and stodgy,” says Suresha.  “I decided to do my own version.”

Over the following years Suresha read Nasruddin stories in Turkish, Hebrew, French, Spanish and German.  He compared dozens of texts to compile his own version, choosing 350 of the most popular stories and jokes for his new English translation.

Suresha has been a lifelong devotee of Mullah Nasruddin.  His mother, who is Israeli, told him the stories when he was a child, piquing Suresha’s interest in the ancient “wise fool.”

He spent much of his time writing and collecting the stories in local coffee shops, including the Bean and Leaf and Muddy Waters.  “I have my own home office,” said Suresha.  “But it would get kind of lonely, so I would go out and write elsewhere.”

The cover illustrator of The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin is also a local New Londoner, Sgott MacKenzie.

After the reading, attendees were treated to cake and given the opportunity to buy signed copies of the book.

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin is available through Lethe Press, and can be downloaded to electronic book formats.  Suresha also maintains a Nasruddin website: www.mullahnasruddin.com, where new stories are posted regularly and links to other Nasruddin sites are provided.

Book launch and reading this Sunday, Jan. 9th

by rjs
Categories: Announcements
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Published on: January 4, 2011

You are cordially invited to a

Book launch reception & listening party

Sunday, January 9th, at 12:00 noon

for The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin,

with author Ron Suresha and cover illustrator Sgott MacKenzie,

at Bean & Leaf, 13 Washington St., New London, CT, 06320

Free and open to the public

Book launch & Premiere reading for Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

by rjs
Categories: Announcements
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: November 26, 2010

Please join us on

Sunday, January 9, 2011, 12:00 noon

at Bean & Leaf, 13 Washington St., New London, CT, 06320

for the premiere reading of a new New London-birthed book,

“The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin,”

with author Ron J. Suresha and cover illustrator Sgott MacKenzie.

Ron will read from his humorous new collection of Turkish folktales published by Lethe Press at this premiere listening party and book launch.

Free and open to the public.

Facebook event: http://on.fb.me/9iuaW3.

More at the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin webpage for this event: http://bit.ly/e3vbCN.

Welcome to MullahNasruddin.com!

Welcome to

Nasruddin and his donkey
Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

Stories, jests, and donkey tales
of the beloved Persian folk hero
 

Collected and retold by Ron J. Suresha

 

With a Preface by Ann Shapiro

Director, Connecticut Storytelling Center


Nasruddin and his donkey ride again — in this inspired new collection of his crazy wisdom stories!

Once, when the young fool Nasruddin was acting up in class by distracting his classmates with endless antics, jokes, and stories, his irate teacher uttered a curse:

“Whatever you do or say,

wherever you go or stay,

whether it’s night or day —

people will only laugh at you.”

Now, eight centuries later, people everywhere are still laughing at the immortal Mullah Nasruddin, one of the world’s most beloved folk characters.

This entertaining and insightful retelling of the Nasruddin corpus brings the beloved Persian folk hero into the 21st Century. With more than 350 of the most popular Nasruddin stories collected from dozens of sources by noted anthologist and lifelong Nasruddin devotee Ron J. Suresha, this collection gathers the most beloved and meaningful tales of Mullah Nasruddin wit and wisdom. Storytellers, folklorists, Sufis, Young Turks, comedians, spiritual seekers, and everyone who loves to laugh will be enriched and enlightened by the Mullah’s uncommon sense of humor.

The original cover watercolor of Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey was rendered by Sgott MacKenzie.

Lethe Press, January 2011    •    232 pp.    •    Includes glossary and bibliography

ISBN-10:  1-59021-175-8     •    ISBN-13:   978-1-59021-175-5    •    Price: $18.00 USD

Categories: Humor / Folklore / World Literature

Distributed in print by: ASP, Baker & Taylor, Ingram

Also available for Kindle, iBook, and all electronic-book formats

For more information, and to order:

email nasruddinbook[AT]gmail [DOT]com

or go to http://www.MullahNasruddin.com or http://www.LethePressBooks.com

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