Thanks to his careful editing and translating of Condé's narrative, Conrad offers a highly readable version of the epic that is about a third of its original length. The translation communicates not only the poetic qualities and the essential events of the Sunjata legend but also the master bard's performance values. Thus, this rendering will fascinate those who already know the story and culture and those coming to the epic for the first time. Conrad provides an excellent introduction to Mande oral tradition, the role of the griot, and the Manding belief system. Though he makes no claim for this as the complete scholarly edition, he does provide helpful scholarly notes, a glossary, and a good bibliography. . . . Summing up: Highly recommended. --L. W. Yoder, CHOICE
David C. Conrad is Professor of History at the State University of New York, Oswego, and President of the Mande Studies Association.