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Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)

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Joel Chandler Harris
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writers' biographies

Joel Chandler Harris, an American journalist, is best remembered for his Uncle Remus stories. During his work for a plantation newspaper-owner, Harris became familiar with many of the folktales of the black African plantation workers. He began to write the 'Uncle Remus' stories, which began to appear in the Atlanta Constitution in 1879, and were published in book form in 1880 as Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings. He published many sequels to this, his first collection.

The first section of the book consists of tales told by Uncle Remus, an old African, to the small son of the plantation owner. The hero of most of his tales is Brer Rabbit. The most beloved and best known of these tales is How Brer Rabbit Met Brer Tar Baby. Harris retold these tales with great skill and charm, using the dialect of the Georgia plantation worker, which he had studied closely.

Harris also wrote several other books for children, including Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country (1894) and Wally Wanderoon and His Story-telling Machine (1903). The Bishop and the Boogerman (pub. 1909) is his comic novel for children.

Stories by JC Harris:   How Brer Rabbit Met Brer Tar Baby



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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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