Trickster Jack


E. Reid Gilbert

Drawing on stories from his own childhood on a dirt farm in North Carolina and his subsequent work in the Appalachian Mountains, E. Reid Gilbert spins together traditional stories, songs, and tall tales. Dr. Gilbert studied storytelling with Richard Chase, author of The Jack Tales, as well as mime and Asian theater. He has won two Fulbright awards: one to research theater training in India, and one to teach storytelling in Thailand. He has served as director of Valley Ridge Theatre in Thomas, West Virginia, and is professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

SKU: 9781604942378 Category:


Every culture has its own trickster character. The Southern Appalachian Mountain trickster is Jack, whom readers may know from traditional stories like “Jack in the Giant’s Newground” and “Jack and the Bean Tree.”
The stories in Trickster Jack, which focus on the shenanigans of Jack and his older brothers, are really tall tales emerging from Reid Gilbert’s tricky imagination. Set in the Southern Appalachians around the end of the nineteenth century, these tales describe actual activities of the time, such as making a wooden wagon with white oak rounds for wheels, fetching water from wells with windlasses, and using outdoor outhouses.

Trickster Jack introduces those readers from outside the Appalachians to some of the ways and manners of that region, while reacquainting Appalachians themselves with their own heritage. Regardless of where you hail, there is plenty in this whimsical collection to delight and entertain you.


Go to Top