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Gerald Hausman’s life and work
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Gerald Hausman
Gerald  Hausman
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Biography of Gerald Hausman

Gerald Hausman is a writer, editor, teacher, folklorist, and storyteller. His many books focus particularly on Native American themes and animal mythology, among other topics. Hausman's work has earned him many honors and awards, and he has also appeared on television and radio programs. He also writes an award-winning column, "Pine Island Soundings" about life on a barrier island. Hausman’s most recent contribution to World Wisdom is as the author of The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story, which was illustrated by Ramon Shiloh. The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood is in our Wisdom Tales series of children's books.

Gerald Hausman was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1945, and grew up in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He graduated from college in New Mexico and continued to live there for two decades. During that time, he had a summer residence on the island of Jamaica where he and his wife, Loretta, founded a school for creative writing. Besides his writing, Mr. Hausman worked in publishing for a number of years as an editor and executive, taught English, and was the Poet-in-residence for a variety of educational institutions.

Hausman is also a multi-cultural storyteller who gathers and tells stories worldwide. In his school visits he includes a wide range of topics from writing as a career to American Indian mythology and from dogs of the Titanic to Great Danes in his own house. He was a special guest on the History Channel’s “Haunted Caribbean” program, telling tales of pirates and mermaids. On National Public Radio he spoke about gathering Native American stories.

Along with co-editor Bob Kapoun, Gerald Hausman has edited The Image Taker: The Selected Stories and Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, which features nearly 200 rarely seen photographs from Edward S. Curtis’ masterpiece, The North American Indian. The book combines the history and the stories from 26 tribes and transports the reader to a now-lost age.

Books/DVDs containing the work of Gerald Hausman

Gerald Hausman's contributions to World Wisdom books:

  • The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story, retold by Gerald Hausman and illustrated by Ramon Shiloh.
    • Midwest Books Award Gold Medal in the category “Illustration: Graphic”
    • Midwest Books Award Silver Medal in the category “Children’s Picture Books”
    • Midwest Books Award Silver Medal in the category “Total Book Design”
    • Finalist for 2013 Foreword Review “Book of the Year” Award in the category “Picture Books, Early Reader”
    • Books”
  • The Image Taker: The Selected Stories and Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, co-edited with Bob Kapoun.
    • Gold Midwest Book Award for “Culture”
    • Silver Midwest Book Award for “History/Current Events”
    • Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist for “History”

Gerald Hausman’s Writings Online
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2SubjectWW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
“Editor’s Preface” to The Image TakerThe Image Taker: The Selected Stories and Photographs of Edward S. CurtisHausman, Gerald American Indian
 1 entries (Displaying results 1 - 1) View : Jump to: Page: of 1 pages

Quotes on Gerald Hausman

“Gerald Hausman’s writing is richly lyrical; his language creates a swirling, lustrous world in which his characters come triumphantly to life.”
Edward Hower, The New York Times Book Review

“Gerald Hausman is one of the best storytellers in the world.”
Coleen Salley, New Orleans storyteller, former Distinguished Professor University of New Orleans, and author of Epossumondas

For the audio book The Turquoise Horse: “Gerald’s sensitive interpretation of each story, his vocal play with words enhances every moment of the tales.”
Ashley Bryan, Coretta Scott King Award Winning author and illustrator

“Gerald Hausman belongs to the fine tradition of literary naturalists. He steals bits of nature and plants them in type, building each column image by image until we see and feel the world the way he sees and feels it. The images invariably build to meaning, like the best poetry, and the meaning is tied to a sense of place. However glorious Pine Island may be, these columns reap a second harvest.”
Best Column, The Florida Magazine Association

“I think of him as the Johnny Appleseed of storytelling, taking the message far and wide across the land.”
Aram Saroyan

“He awakens, not only the poet’s skill and sensitivity, but also our own nature, power and inherent divinity...”
Dr. Michael W. Fox, Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States

“Your students are indeed fortunate to have someone in their midst who can communicate enthusiasm for learning - the greatest lesson a school could ever teach.”
Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

The following is from a story in The News-Press, a newspaper that covers southwest Florida. It was written by Lynda Long and appeared in the August 31, 2009 edition. The article was titled “Pine Island author preserves art of the storyteller.”

Right in our own backyard, on Pine Island, lives a well-known author and storyteller named Gerald Hausman. Not familiar with him? Well, many students around Florida and across the country know his name.

Hausman writes books about animals, mythology, Native Americans and West Indian culture. He travels the United States as a featured speaker for schools and libraries, telling the stories he’s written as well as those he’s collected.

Hausman was born in Baltimore and grew up in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He graduated from college in New Mexico where he met his wife, Loretta. The two of them lived in New Mexico for a couple of decades, and he first wrote there in the 1970s.

A theater minor in college, Hausman has professional theater in his background. That acting ability transformed into his book and story presentations. His storytelling became a critical and necessary part of his professional life.

“I don’t do this for love or money — but because there is no other way,” Hausman said. “When I tell stories, I pace. I can’t sit down. And I am very insistent about making sure everybody is listening. I try to find that person not listening and try to speak to him.”

One particularly challenging audience in Texas had more than 1,200 middle-schoolers to hear his stories.

“I asked the principal…are you sure you want me to do all those kids in one session?” Hausman said. “‘Yeah’ was the answer. All the teachers were sitting and correcting papers. So the only way to reach the 1,200 was to weave in and around with groups of the kids. I moved from group to group and covered the entire gym that way. By the end of the session, you could hear a pin drop.”

Hausman’s family influenced his storytelling talent. His mother often read stories to him and took him to pow-wows.

“Some people may not remember, but you could hear Native American storytellers in department stores in the ’50s and early ’60s,” Hausman said. “You could meet a 100-year-old native Oglala Sioux storyteller who could remember stories that were 200 or 300 years old. That fascinated me as a youngster.

“I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I was given the idea that stories were very old. What impressed me most was that they endured. So I became interested in preserving them.”

One of Hausman’s early books was about the Navajo. He lived among the Navajo and collected coyote stories. The book, Coyote Walks on Two Legs: A Book of Navajo Myths and Legends, was published in 1995.

Since the early ’90s, he’s written more than 70 books, about 15 of those with his wife, Loretta. The two later had a summer residence in Jamaica for 15 years. They founded a summer writing school, called the Blue Harbour Creative Writing Program, for middle and high school students. In Jamaica they collected stories and wrote more books.

Loretta is the primary researcher.

“I really like to get the facts so that things make sense or that it’s logical. We always make sure the historical facts are right,” Loretta said.

Hausman’s latest book, The Image Taker, took him on a summer book tour to the Berkshires in Massachusetts.

“It’s the greatest stories of Edward S. Curtis — stories gathered from the turn of the last century. He was the premier photographer of Native Americans. His work is sort of priceless now, if you can find one of his photographs.”

Hausman said the book is mainly for adults, but children will still love it.

“Teachers will end up doing read alouds. It has amazing stories in it,” he said. “It can be used in units on American Indian history. One of the stories Curtis found was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as told by a Crow Indian storyteller — with all the spin and twists of Native American myth.”

Two other books that Hausman featured on the summer book tour were Time Swimmer, published in early 2009, and A Mind With Wings: The Story of Henry David Thoreau, published in 2006.

Hausman has won 35 awards and honors from such groups as the American Folklore Society, the Bank Street College, Booklist, Parents’ Choice, the New York Public Library and the National Council of Social Studies. You can find Hausman’s work at and at

Online Resources about Gerald Hausman

Gerald Hausman's website contains a biography, lists of the books he has written and edited, a calendar of appearances, online videos, a blog by Mr. Hausman, and more.

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