In Suddenly They Heard Footsteps, Dan Yashinsky, one of North America's best-known storytellers, shows how an old tradition has become the new avant-garde. Storytelling is very much alive in the digital age despite the pressures of an ""on-demand"" society. Yashinsky admits that people no longer have to hear and retain information with the same urgency required of previous generations. However, people still choose to listen, and stories still have the power to create a sense of community and a shared past. The belief that storytelling is a necessary and beneficial art for our times has sparked a contemporary renaissance of oral literature with a variety of festivals, groups, and gatherings. These outlets give storytellers new places to explore their art. There is also a burgeoning interest in the way stories flow through and frame everyday lives, anchor identity, preserve family heritage, and build bridges between communities. Yashinsky uses his own experiences in this growing worldwide movement to make a case for the increased importance of storytelling. By turns humorous, inspiring, instructive, and philosophical, Suddenly They Heard Footsteps is fired with the magic of storytelling and instructs both the listener and the storyteller in gaining deep appreciation of the experience. Arguing that we can't double-click on wisdom, Yashinsky celebrates the many ways people choose to tell, listen to, and find meaning in stories. Dan Yashinsky has been a storyteller for almost thirty years. He has performed and taught in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. He edited Tales for an Unknown City, which won the Toronto Book Award.
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Number of pages: 277
Weight: 526 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
"Yashinsky sows stories along the wayside as he explains how and why listeners are hooked, reveals the secrets of story hosts, and describes the extraordinary characters who have sparked the contemporary international revival of this most universal and durable of the arts. Yashinsky himself is one of those extraordinary characters. He gives us much to laugh at, provoke thought, wonder about, and remember and pass on. If the word "awesome had not been rendered meaningless by trendiness, it would be the adjective for this book. As it is, "spell-binding will do."
--Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Dark Age Ahead
"If you can't sit down for a cup of tea and a chat with Yashinsky, sitting down with this book is a close second."
--"Winnipeg Free Press
"Suddenly They Heard Footsteps is at once a polemic for storytelling and a personal memoir, a handbook for prospective storytellers and an anthology of tales from which the reader may borrow. It is a passionate work of deeply held belief....Readers will come away from Suddenly They Heard Footsteps with all the basic tools and the inspiration they need to try storytelling for themselves."
--"Quill & Quire
"A melange of memoir, social history and how-to guide, Yashinsky's love of the spoken word imbues the whole package with warm authority."
--"The Toronto Star
"In celebrating the storyteller's art, Yashinsky has tapped into a motherlode of universal need, the thirst for a story that shows us what it is to be human."