March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Friends and Family Gather to Remember Storyteller Diane Wolkstein

Diane Wolkstein, 1942–2013.

Friends and family gathered at New York City’s Scandinavia House on Saturday, September 21, to pay tribute to storyteller, folklorist, and picture book author Diane Wolkstein, who died on January 31, 2013, in China while on a research trip. She was 70. During the memorial, Wolkstein was honored for her contributions to the world of storytelling through her performances and numerous books, audiobooks, and DVDs of tales she collected from around the world.

Wolkstein was remembered via song and story, offered to the assembled crowd by fellow artists, storytellers, educators, and librarians. Among those who spoke at the event were storytellers Thérèsé Folkes Plair, who acted as hosted; Laura Simms; Robin Bady; Jay O’Callahan; Yehuda Hyman; and Margaret Dawson.

Rita Auerbach, retired librarian, storyteller, and co-founder of the American Library Association’s Storytelling Discussion Group, also recited “Mother of the Waters,” a story from Wolkstein’s book The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales (Random House, 1978).

Thérèsé Folkes Plair pays tribute to Diane Wolkstein through music and storytelling.