Shopping cart

The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco (Paperback)

The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco By Richard Hamilton, Barnaby Rogerson (Foreword by) Cover Image
Special Order


Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco's ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in the Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies and the internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed at first hand the death throes of this rich and captivating tradition and, in the labyrinth of the Marrakech medina, has tracked down the last few remaining storytellers, recording stories that are replete with the mysteries and beauty of the Maghreb.

About the Author

Richard Hamilton has worked for the BBC World Service as a broadcast journalist since 1998, including being a correspondent in Morocco, South Africa and Madagascar.

Barnaby Rogerson is an author and publisher. Together with his partner Rose Baring, he runs Eland Books, which specializes in keeping the classics of travel literature in print. He is the author of acclaimed biographies of the Prophet Mohammed, and the Prophet's heirs, a history of The Last Crusades and travel guides to such places as Morocco, Cyprus and Istanbul. He writes frequently for Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveller (UK), Harper's Bazaar and the Times Literary Supplement.

Praise For…

“Inspiring . . . brilliantly illustrates an ancient oral tradition in my country. I cannot but commend your untiring, meticulous work. Building on stories gathered directly from some of our most renowned storytellers, you have introduced readers to a time-honoured Moroccan tradition.” - Mohammed VI, King of Morocco

“Charming, fantastical and lively collection. Like a genie emerging from a flask, The Last Storytellers produces a startling amount of pleasure from some very small packages.... Both men [author and interpreter] deserve much praise for the successful outcome of this endeavour.” - Times Literary Supplement

“Hamilton presents readers with a precious gift: a collection of content not quite like anything we have ever heard or seen before. Readers who might never reach Marrakech can find their own oasis by making a cup of mint tea and giving thanks for these enchanting stories rescued from oblivion.” - New York Journal of Books

“Think of this as a collection of Grimm’s fairy tales with plenty of added North African charm.” - Lonely Planet

“Hamilton does not only offer his readers a valuable, enchanting, interesting and entertaining read but also launches a cri de coeur to rescue this vanishing and traditional form of storytelling as it slowly falls into the abyss of forgetfulness.” - North South Magazine

“This is addictive material.” - The National

“A truly remarkable piece of literature.” - Essential Travel Blog

Product Details
ISBN: 9781838600006
ISBN-10: 1838600000
Publisher: Tauris Parke
Publication Date: June 18th, 2019
Pages: 264
Language: English