Lewis Hyde's ambitious and captivating Trickster Makes This World brings to life the playful and disruptive side of the human imagination as it is embodied in the trickster mythology. Most at home on the road or at the twilight edge of town, tricksters are consummate boundary-crossers, slipping through keyholes, breaching walls, subverting defense systems. Always out to satisfy their inordinate appetites, lying, cheating, and stealing, tricksters are a great bother to have around, but paradoxically they are also indispensable culture heroes. In North America, Coyote taught the race how to dress, sing, and shoot arrows. In West Africa, Eshu discovered the art of divination so that suffering humans might know the purposes of heaven. In Greece, Hermes the Thief invented the art of sacrifice, the trick of making fire, and even language itself. Hyde revisits these old stories, then holds them up against the life and work of more recent creators: Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, Maxine Hong Kingston, Frederick Douglass, and others.