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Suddenly They Heard Footsteps - Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century

Suddenly They Heard Footsteps

Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century

By Dan Yashinsky
Paperback : 9781578069279, 317 pages, October 2006

A manifesto for storytelling’s future and a handbook of stories and inspiration


In Suddenly They Heard Footsteps, Dan Yashinsky, one of North America's best-known storytellers, shows how an old tradition has become the new avant-garde. Storytelling is very much alive in the digital age despite the pressures of an “on-demand” society. Yashinsky admits that people no longer have to hear and retain information with the same urgency required of previous generations. However, people still choose to listen, and stories still have the power to create a sense of community and a shared past.

The belief that storytelling is a necessary and beneficial art for our times has sparked a contemporary renaissance of oral literature with a variety of festivals, groups, and gatherings. These outlets give storytellers new places to explore their art. There is also a burgeoning interest in the way stories flow through and frame everyday lives, anchor identity, preserve family heritage, and build bridges between communities. Yashinsky uses his own experiences in this growing worldwide movement to make a case for the increased importance of storytelling.

By turns humorous, inspiring, instructive, and philosophical, Suddenly They Heard Footsteps is fired with the magic of storytelling and instructs both the listener and the storyteller in gaining deep appreciation of the experience. Arguing that we can't double-click on wisdom, Yashinsky celebrates the many ways people choose to tell, listen to, and find meaning in stories.