Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Anansi or Ananse

A Ghanaian and West Indian Trickster god in the shape of a Spider. Most of the material incorporating Anansi comprises Folktales retold or newly imagined. West African Trickster Tales (coll 1994) as retold by Martin Bennett, a useful compendium, includes several Ashanti tales from Ghana that deal with Ananse. The best-known West Indian version is probably the Anancy who figures in the Revisionist-Fantasy sequence by Andrew Salkey (1928-1995) – Anancy's Score (coll 1973), One (coll 1985) and Anancy, Traveller (coll 1992) – where the trickster spider becomes involved in Third World struggles. A similar figure appears in Anancy-Spiderman (1989; vt Spiderman-Anancy 1989 US) by James Berry (1925-    ). [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.