This image is the cover for the book Star Stories

Star Stories

“Skillfully guides us around the awesome night sky through the imagination of different peoples around the world, past and present. A wonderful treasury.” —Jacqueline Mitton, author of Zoo in the Sky

Most of us can recall searching the clouds as children for recognizable shapes and pictures. Similarly, since the dawn of humankind, the night sky has been filled with countless points of light that beckon gazers to connect the dots.

We can see love, betrayal, and friendship in the heavens, if we know where to look. A world expert on cultural understandings of cosmology, Anthony Aveni provides an unconventional atlas of the night sky, introducing tales beloved for generations. The constellations included are not only your typical Greek and Roman myths, but star patterns conceived by a host of cultures, non-Western and indigenous, ancient and contemporary.

Follow an epic animal race, a quest for a disembodied hand, and an emu egg hunt in these constellation stories from diverse cultures. The sky has long served as a template for telling stories about the meaning of life. People have looked for likenesses between the domains of heaven and earth to help marry the unfamiliar above to the quotidian below. Perfect for all sky watchers and storytellers, this book is an essential complement to Western mythologies, showing how the confluence of the natural world and culture of heavenly observers can produce a variety of tales about the shapes in the sky.

Praise for Anthony Aveni

“A pioneering cultural astronomer.” —Publishers Weekly

“He writes with a mastery and polish that is wonderfully accessible, akin to an engaging classroom lecture.” —The New York Times Book Review

Anthony Aveni

Anthony Aveni is Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies Emeritus at Colgate University. He helped to develop the fields of archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy.

Yale University Press