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Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth: Nuer Song, by TERESE SVOBODA

rEprint Series Ebooks

Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth: Nuer Song, by TERESE SVOBODA

Svoboda - Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth - Cover number two.jpg
Svoboda - Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth - Cover number two.jpg

Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth: Nuer Song, by TERESE SVOBODA

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The Nuer are a cattle herding people who live along the Nile. Although only a half million in population, they were made world famous by anthropologist E. Evans Pritchard's classic "The Nuer." Song is the art form most suited to their harsh climate and semi-nomadic existence. Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth was translated by Terese Svoboda, who collected and transcribed them in the Sudan with the aid of a PEN/Columbia Fellowship. The National Endowment for the Humanities provided support for the completion of the project. However, Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth is more than just the translation of these songs. Its linking narrative, which chronicles Svoboda's experiences and places the songs in their proper contexts, takes us along on the translator's sometimes difficult journey and gives us an even deeper glimpse into the often hard, but never hopeless lives of the Nuer. 

Praise for Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth: Nuer Song

A vivid impression of modern Nuer society. Douglas H. Johnson --Man

Selected for the Writer's Choice column in the New York Times Book Review

She (the author) approaches the Nuer not as an alien, exotic society but as people whose artistic expression may hold meaning and pleasure for any reader. T.O. Beidelman. --Anthropos


The many faces of Terese Svoboda’s luminous writing include eleven books of poetry, fiction, translation, and over one hundred short stories. Trailer Girl and Other Stories, her third novel, was reissued in paper last fall. “Unnerve thyself: the violent and enthralling short stories in Trailer Girl detonate on contact,” writes Vanity Fair. Her memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent was termed “Astounding!” by the New York Post, selected as a Japan Times “Best of Asia 2008” book, and won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Praised as a “fabulous fabulist” by Publishers Weekly for her last novel, Tin God,Vogue lauded her first, Cannibal, as a female Heart of Darkness. Svoboda is also the recipient of the Bobst Prize (for Cannibal), the Iowa Prize for poetry, and the O. Henry Award for the short story. Her work has been selected for the “Writer’s Choice” column inThe New York Times Book Review, a SPIN magazine book of the year, and one of theVoice Literary Supplement’s ten best reads. Her opera WET premiered at LA’s Disney Hall in 2005. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, Bennington, Davidson University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Miami, Fairleigh Dickinson, Williams College, San Francisco State College, and the College of William and Mary, and is teaching fiction at Columbia’s School of the Arts.