Tar Baby: Tales of Brer Rabbit

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Creation Books, 2000 - Fiction - 157 pages
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In the Georgia swamplands and plantations, a cast of anthropomorphic animals enacts daily rituals of pursuit, trickery and escape. In this pre-Loony Toons world of sassy, talking beasts, Brer Rabbit is the hero -- duelling both verbally and physically with those who would eat him, and perpetually in the monstrous shadow of the Tar Baby.

The casual publication in 1877 of "The Tar Baby" by Joel Chandler Harris, found Harris his literary vocation. In the following years he developed his own plantation mythology in a series of volumes, narrated by "Uncle Remus", telling colloquial tales of the wily hero Brer Rabbit (an obvious precursor of Bugs Bunny) and his clashes with the villain, Brer Fox. Tar Baby is a collection of some of the finest of these often surreal and grotesque stories, in the original African American dialect, and is presented as a classic of American literature for both adult readers and children of all ages.

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About the author (2000)

Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Ga., on December 9, 1848. Deserted by his father at an early age, Harris dropped out of school and began working as a literary apprentice to help his mother make ends meet. Soon after, he was writing humorous pieces for several Georgia newspapers and in 1876, Harris joined the Staff of the Atlanta Constitution as an editor. Harris is best remembered for writing the Uncle Remus stories. Based on traditional African tales and folklore, the stories feature animal characters, such as Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, who are endowed with human characteristics. Some of the Uncle Remus titles include Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, Night with Uncle Remus, Uncle Remus and His Friends, and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy. After his death on July 3, 1908, Harris's home in Atlanta's West End was preserved as a museum called Wren's Nest. The museum got its name from a family of wrens that were found nesting in Harris's rickety old wooden mailbox.

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