“People crave narration,” says Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. “People want to hear a story. They love it! That’s the way they learn things. That’s the way human beings organize their human knowledge – fairy tales, myths. All narration.”
I love Toni Morrison. To me, she is the great American writer alive today. And one of the primary reasons she’s a classic is that she understands the power of story. Storytelling – one person talking to another, spinning a yarn – is at the heart of all her fiction.
Human beings tell stories all the time, in so many ways. We tell each other the tale of what happened that day. Families pass down stories of treasured memories – the favorite in my family is the tale of my grandparents’ first date. Communities pass down lore, the history of the culture, spiritual lessons through oral storytelling. Writers convey stories through novels, short stories, memoir, poems. Dramatists write plays, and filmmakers tell stories through the world brought to life on the big screen. Songwriters encapsulate stories in short lyrics, little tale capsules. Even visual artists – painters, photographers, sculptors – tell stories.
It seems that we humans can’t stop telling stories – and as Toni Morrison says, we “crave” stories. We want to hear them. We want to read them. We want to experience them.
StoryWeb celebrates this human love of stories. Join me each week as I highlight yet another storyteller – a fiction writer, memoirist, poet, playwright, filmmaker, songwriter, visual artist, folklorist. Whenever copyright allows, I’ll feature an audio or video excerpt from the story of the week.
And when you’re inspired (and you know you will be!), read the book, watch the movie, listen to the song.
Satisfy your craving . . . follow StoryWeb!