The Coming of Night A Yoruba Creation Myth from West Africa by James Riordan


The Coming of Night A Yoruba Creation Myth from West Africa by James Riordan

Long, long ago, when the earth was new, the great river goddess Yemoya sent her daughter Aje to marry a handsome earth chief in the Land of Shining Day. At first Aje was happy, but soon she started to pine for the cool shadows of her mother's realm. James Riordan's retelling of a Yoruba tale, vividly illustrated by Jenny Stow, gives an enchanting explanation of the coming of night to our world.


It really is very difficult to imagine a more seductive introduction for the young reader to these ancient, dynamic tales. Books for Keeps

About the Author

James Riordan

James Riordan ( 10 October 1936 - 10 February 2012) grew up during the war in his chimney-sweep grandfather’s house in Portsmouth. After school he was a barman, waiter, railway clerk, commercial salesman, and dance band musician. During his National Service in the RAF he learned Russian and went on to become Professor of Russian Studies at Surrey University. Besides novels, he has written folk-tale collections, picture books and over 20 academic publications. His first novel for children, Sweet Clarinet, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and, like his other novels The Prisoner and When the Guns Fall Silent, is based partly on his own wartime experiences.

Riordan then produced a steady flow of anthologies of various kinds from across Russia and its near neighbours, acting as both collector and translator. He also diversified into other folk-story traditions, including The 12 Labours of Hercules (1998), which won the UK Reading Association award. His collection The Woman in the Moon and Other Tales of Forgotten Heroines (1985), including stories from Japan, Ghana, Sicily, Lapland and the UK, was celebrated for its strong female characters.

Breaking away from other people's stories, he wrote his first novel, Sweet Clarinet (1998), the touching story of a boy overcoming injuries sustained in the London Blitz through his love of playing music. Nine more novels followed; all have something of the folk tale about them in terms of a child overcoming adversity through courage and belief. Many, such as Rebel Cargo (2007), the story of children sold into slavery and his final novel, Blood Runner (2011), the story of a young black boy whose parents are killed by the South African police, carry strong socio-political messages. Russia never lost its appeal as a source of stories for him and he returned there with the setting of his penultimate novel, The Sniper (2008), which is based on the true story of a teenage marksman at the siege of Stalingrad.

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Other Formats

Book Info


Big book
32 pages
Interest Age: From 5 To 8


James Riordan
More books by James Riordan


Publication date

1st January 2006



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