Girl Who Married a Lion: and other tales from africa
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Girl Who Married a Lion: and other tales from africa

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,135 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Gathered here is a beguiling selection of folktales from Zimbabwe and Botswana as retold by the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This treasury contains most of the stories previously collected in Children of Wax and seven new tales from the Setswana-speaking people of Botswana.

A girl discovers that her young husband might actually be a lion in di...more
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Published December 7th 2004 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2004)
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Friederike Knabe
Those familiar with Precious Ramotswe can easily imagine her listening to the tales from this delightful collection. Relaxing after a day's work as No. 1 Ladies' Detective with a cup of bush tea, her mind might wander back to the stories of her childhood. Those new to McCall Smith's books will find in "The Girl Who Married a Lion" an excellent introduction into the gentle and caring world of Mma Ramotswe and her friends. The same warmth and affection that McCall Smith conveyed through his Botswa...more
A collection of folktales from Botswana and Zimbabwe that have been collected by the author of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series.
I was disappointed. It would have been interesting to me to know which tales were from which of the countries but there is no mention anywhere. At the beginning there is a Letter from Mma Ramotswe and I'm struggling to know why Smith felt this should be included unless he was trying to play off the recognition of the series and the fact that some of the stories a...more
I loved, absolutely loved "Guinea Fowl Child".

These tales are collected from Zimbabwe and Botswana, and cover a wide range for types. There are trickster tales (mostly with a hare being the trickster), just so tales (why animals do this), and family tales. Anyone who is familiar with Joel Chandler Harris will recognize "Tremendously Clever Tricks are Played, but to Limited Effect". Hare in many of these tales is the forerunner of Brer Rabbit.

I'm not sure how this ties into the Ladies No1 agency...more
Ann Keller
Many of us have read Aesop’s Fables, which teach us about man’s foibles and morality, but I had never heard of many of these tales from Africa. These folk tales from Zimbabwe and Botswana are told by former law professor Alexander McCall Smith, a native of Zimbabwe, who now makes his home far to the north in Scotland. Africa maintains a rich tradition of oral literature and these stories are told with humor and spirit. Allow me to describe two of these tales to give the reader some idea of what...more
Book Concierge
This is a collection of fables, legends and myths from two countries in Africa – Zimbabwe and Botswana. These traditional stories share many characteristics with folk tales from neighboring regions. But while they may be a part of the oral literature of Southern Africa, the lessons taught are universal in that they explore emotions common to all humankind – greed, envy, pride, ambition, love, kindness, generosity.

Smith explains in the forward that he has done little more than record the stories...more
Alyssa Peters
Alyssa Peters
Traditional Literature

This book has many short stories in it. The stories originated in Africa and have been passed down from generation to generation. Some of the stories were neat to read, others were gruesome. One of the stories talked about a cheetah who tricked her friend the goat into going across the river. While she was gone, cheetah grabbed goat’s children and wrapped them up to cook later. Others had seen what cheetah had done. They distracted cheetah, and switched goat’...more
I am a sucker for folk tales. Growing up I read tales from every culture I could get my hands on, so I was delighted to find this compendium by Alexander McCall Smith.

It has always struck me as fascinating that all cultures tell the same tales, though the details change: parents who cannot have children; families faced with famine and natural disasters; clever boys or girls who are rewarded by the spirits for overcoming adversity. No matter if you hit Africa, Asia, Europe or Native American tale...more
Liked the simplicity of writing style and wordsmithing which supported the oral tradition of the African folktales.

Not all were positive stories - some having horrific outcomes when the story or ending was actually considered. Wide variety of topics covering hunting, gathering, family, marriage, relationships, death, life, weather, travel, animals vs people or animals in relationship with people. Definite insights into the African culture with settings and situations unusual to Western culture....more
This is a collection of folk tales from Zimbabwe and Botswana. They were either told to him by local people when he lived in that part of the world or he came across them via a local friend who had collected and made translations of them into English. In his intro AM says he has kept to the original stories but has "added some descriptions of landscape and deepened the treatment of certain emotions" and that in doing so he hopes "to bring out the beauty and poetry of these stories." They make a...more
Hannah Bryant
"The Girl Who Married a Lion" took place in many different African tales, starting off with the story of the 'Guinea Fowl Child' to the 'Tremendously Clever Tricks Are Played, but To Limited Affect'. The short tales through out the book seemed to sometimes tell a short a story with a huge meaning or just a huge story with no meaning at all but to entertain. I honestly in the beginning thought I wouldn't be too fond of this book but I truly do like it. I love the different stories because it doe...more
Lance Greenfield

This is a collection of beautiful little African stories that you can just imagine being told by an elderly lady to the children of her village as they sit in the shade of a tree on the edge of their village.

If, like me, you are a fan of Kipling's Just So Stories and the Uncle Remus stories of Brer Rabbit and his friends, you will absolutely love this set of tales. In addition, if you have read and enjoyed any of Alexander McCall Smith's previous books relating the detective adventur...more
Ini review tentang dongeng; dongeng-dongeng indah berasal dari Afrika, tepatnya Zimbabwe dan Bostwana. Pendongengnya adalah Alexander McCall Smith, penulis Skotlandia kelahiran Zimbabwe. Ia 'sekadar' menuliskan kembali - dengan bantuan seorang penerjemah - cerita-cerita rakyat yang ia kumpulkan sejak duapuluh tahun lalu dari masyarakat di bagian selatan Zimbabwe.

Seperti juga dongeng-dongeng dari negeri kita (dan dari banyak negeri lainnya), dongeng Afrika ini banyak menampilkan binatang sebagai...more
Riana Anwar
Buku ini berisi 34 dongeng penuh makna yang indah dari dua negara di Afrika-Zimbabwe dan Botswana. Membaca dongeng hanya untuk anak kecil? Menurut saya tidak. Membaca dan mendengarkan dongeng, seperti kata Mma Ramotswe, membuat kita mengenang dan mengingat kembali masa kecilk ita. Saya juga setuju pada kalimatnya; "mengenang masa lalu seakan memandang melalui sebuah jendela yang tertutup debu; kita bisa melihat sesuatu, tetapi tidak dengan sangat jelas.

Penulis buku ini, Alexander McCall Smith, k...more
A brilliant book for older children, perhaps around year 5 age, or to be read by the teacher to the class.
This book is a collection of folktales from Africa, focussing on stories all related to animals and the way they interact with each other and with humans. Being folk tales, most of the stories have a moral to the story, usually to do with treating everyone equally and not tricking people. The book includes 17 short stories, all focussed around life in Africa. The way that the animals are use...more
Oh man I just want to mine this collection for future novels. Or to be more accurate I want someone else to mine this collection for novels and write them so I can read them. :D Sister of Bones? Children of Wax? Brave Hunter? The Wife Who Could Not Work? Head Tree? Guys where are my books based on these, I'm waiting. I'd include 'A Strange Creature Took The Place of a Girl' but it has enough similarities with The Goose Girl that I feel satisfied that I have in fact read this novel several times....more
Pada zaman dahulu di sebuah desa, seorang pria bernama Kumalo baru saja menikahkan anak perempuannya dengan seorang pria yang tak hanya tampan namun juga sanggup memberikan banyak ternak yang diinginkannya. Hilang sudah kekhawatirannya akan kehidupan anak perempuannya setelah menikah. Terlebih lagi anak perempuannya juga terlihat begitu bahagia menikah dengan pria yang begitu baik dan kuat.

Hampir semua orang dikeluarga Kumalo meras senang dengan pernikahan ini. namun tidak demikian dengan saudar...more
Rented from Recorded Books

Publisher: Recorded Books, 2004
Length: 4 hours and 24 mi

2005 Audie Award Nominee, Short Stories/Collections

Publisher's Summary
From the author of the phenomenally successful, New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mystery series, comes this spellbinding collection of African folktales from Zimbabwe and Botswana.

When a woman becomes the target of ridicule from her husband's new wife, the jilted woman befriends a talking guinea fowl, who helps her get r...more
If you are an adult reading this book it will take you back in time to your younger years...the ones where you perched in (or under) a big tree with an apple and cake (yes, I said cake) and lost yourself from the worries of the world for a little bit.

It's amazing what a good set of short stories can do for the soul.

Read this, then share it with your children. Your soul will appreciate it. :)
A book of folk tales from Zimbabwe and Botswana, transcribed by Alexander McCall Smith, author of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” According to the introduction, Smith has also lightly embellished the tales to provide context and background for Westerners. He makes it clear that the tales are not his, but belong to those who tell them. Some of these tales will sound familiar to those with Zimbabwean friends, and others to those who have read Grimm’s fairy tales. The themes of love, desire, t...more
There was a bizarre randomness and abruptness to these retold African folktales and their endings that seemed to go beyond what could be attributed to their cultural origin. It was hard to shake the sense that something was lost in translation — that perhaps with more context, these might not have seemed so disjointed, odd and incomplete.
Sphinx Feathers
I enjoyed most of these tales and tried to find the similarities between western fables and the fables in this book. I was particularly intrigued by the strange animal and loved the guinea fowl story.
Bingo: One word title, a book of short stories, free square, a book set on a different continent, and a book of non fiction.
I rated this a 5 star, because it's a treasury of African folktales - similar to Aesop's Fables. As McCall Smith explains in the beginning, the African people have a much stronger spiritual relationship with animals than we do in the western world. I almost compared this thinking to the Native Americans in the western continents, who see animals as spirit guides. Some of these stories are silly, some profound, but all were passed down orally through the African generations. I find it a blessed o...more
A friend bought me this as my something-teen birthday gift. It's basically a bundle of African folktales re-wrote by an Englishman, the book title is one of the story within. I ended up giving it away for charity.
Sep 04, 2012 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folktale Fans
So lately I've been wanting to read more folklore, legends, myths, etc....I was able to pick this one up at the public library and was very excited to be starting my "studying" rather quickly. There are lots of good stories in this collection. Some were humorous and others had very important lessons. Others were just kind of brutal and were more so for storytelling value than ways of teaching certain things. Some of these stories even sparked ideas of my own (as a writer, I'm always looking for...more
This collection of fables, stories, and mythologies are fascinating, partially for their images and tales (which more often than not are great), but also for how they compare to those of Aesop and Ovid and other European writers.
As in those, these stories occur in a world where animals and humans communicate and intermingle. But the main difference is how prevalent the theme of forgiveness is for those that are truly repentant; selflessness in the community and cohabitation is highly regarded;...more
This book was full of stories with good morals. A quick read that was entertaining and instructive.
Kathleen Hagen
The Girl Who Married a Lion, and Other Tales from Africa, by Alexander McCall Smith. A. Downloaded from
This is a delightful book of African folklore presented to us with a forward by Precious Omotzway, about tales they grow up with. We are treated to a vision of Precious and her assistant taking tea breaks at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and reading one of those stories every now and then. A wonderful break from the darker reading I’ve done lately. Several of the best narrators...more
Kate Millin
African folk tales – short and pithy and well written
I was surprised at the amount of death and devouring in this book. Although I am sure for some African people, animal attacks are a part of life. It can really happen anywhere, but to hear it from the culture of this part of the planet really makes you see how we tell stories in other places and to other poeple.

I didn't see that many of these stories had wonderful moral meanings to them for success in having a better life, or what to do in situations of dread and sorrow.

But the stories were good...more
Karel Hanson
Cute stories! If you enjoy his Mma. Ramotswe series, this is a nice interlude between her books.
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1) Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2) Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3) The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4) The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5)

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