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Arts & Entertainment Jackson library hosts Gary Carden

Gary CardenCarden hosts for program on Appalachian ‘Jack Tales’ and their origins

The Jackson County Public Library will host renowned storyteller and playwright Gary Carden on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. for a program on Appalachian Jack Tales and their origins. The program will be held in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library Complex.

Jack Tales are a particular variety of Appalachian folk tale, but their reach extends far beyond our region and stretches far back in time. “Jack and the Beanstalk” may be the bestknown of the Jack Tales, but there are variations on many other familiar tales, including “Cinderella” and “Snow White.” As far back as any English-language folktale can be traced, there are stories about Jack, often a trickster or sometimes just a simple, shy boy, or even a mute. So what makes a story a Jack Tale? Where do they come from? Carden will explore these questions and the many origins of Jack Tales, from the Brother Grimm to Shakespeare, and in the process will tell a few of his favorite tales.

Carden, who lives in Sylva, is an award-winning storyteller, author, screenwriter, and playwright. He is the founder of The Liar's Bench, a popular live variety show featuring storytelling, music, and poetry. His books include “Mason Jars in the Flood” and “Belled Buzzards, Hucksters, and Grieving Specters: Appalachian Tales.” Among his many produced plays are “The Raindrop Waltz,” “Birdell,” “The Prince of Dark Corners” and “Nance Dude.” He has also written many film scripts, including the Tom Davenport movie, “Willa: An American Snow White.” According to novelist Ron Rash, of WCU, “Gary Carden is one of Appalachia’s greatest treasures. No one I know understands the culture better; add to this Carden’s storytelling ability and you have an artist of the first order.”

Carden’s program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Library. For more information, contact the Jackson County Public Library at (828)586-2016.





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