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Cindy Thomson | The Art of Storytelling
Author Guest / June 27, 2014

In my upcoming novel ANNIE’S STORIES, Annie is mourning the loss of her father, Marty Gallagher, who was a well-respected seanchaí. A seanchaí is an Irish storyteller. My favorite historical resource on Ireland is A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland by P.W. Joyce, a second edition published in 1908. Here is what Joyce had to say about storytellers: “There were professional shanachies and poets whose duty it was to know by heart numerous old tales, poems, and historical pieces, and to recite them, at festive gatherings, for the entertainment of the chiefs and their guests…for though few could read, the knowledge and recitation of poetry and stories reached the whole body of the people. This ancient institution of story-telling held its ground both in Ireland and Scotland down to a period within living memory.” All cultures have storytellers for the same reason: literacy was not always common. What better way to convey information than with a story? You may have read about this tradition in books such as Frank Delaney’s Ireland. The tradition of Irish storytelling was still very strong into the late nineteenth century, so I decided to make that a part of my novel ANNIE’S STORIES. Annie’s…