Leslie Marmon Silko’s groundbreaking book Storyteller, first published in , blends original short stories and poetry influenced by the traditional oral tales. Now back in print—a classic work of Native American literature by the bestselling author of Ceremony. Leslie Marmon Silko’s groundbreaking book Storyteller. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Leslie Marmon Silko was born in to a family whose ancestry includes Mexican, Laguna Indian, and European.

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Such a fate, though, seems likely to befall Ayah, for her babies are taken not simply to make them well, but to make them white.

She lexlie both the mystery and violence of her culture. I liked learning more about this author, who I’ve only just started reading this year, and enjoyed her poems and short tales about a people and a way of life that were ruthlessly snuffed out by immigrant Europeans. The images inside are lovely as well.

Storyteller is a storytleler collection of poetry, short stories and family photographs compiled by Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko. She does not awaken to the proverbial harsh light of morning awash in guilt, but to a newly, more vibrantly alive world of sensation within and around her. Moreover, when she entices the storekeeper to follow her to his death, she uses her sexuality in an exploitative manner.


This meshing of distinct things could also symbolize the intermixing of cultures. Dec 15, Jessie rated it really liked it Shelves: The landscape is so crucial that it comes to have the force of a character; Silko observes in her own commentary on the story: Here is what I think: An attempt to deal with the issues inherent in writing published print literature about oral storytellers.


It flows smoothly out of the photograph of Laguna in that it endows a particular portion of the land with mystery and wonder, and by so doing makes it a gift of and to the imagination.

It derives primarily from the episodic structure of Storyteller and the accretive process of teaching inherent in it. Silko went to elementary school locally and, from the sixth grade on, attended Catholic schools in Albuquerque. Curiosity about sex, or about Gussuck life in general, is only one expression, and not the most important one, of her desire and need. Like focusing on one facet of a diamond, never realizing that what makes a diamond brilliant is all the individual facets combining into a single, shimmering whole How much time passes between her return from boarding school and the events that finally bring her to the jail?

I have no doubt that I’ll be reading it many times over. Whatever genre she’s working in, Silko pays scrupulous attention to the land.

The text traces the thoughts and memories of a Yupik woman as she waits in a jail in the arctic bush to be interrogated regarding the death of a storekeeper. The works in Storyteller are often accompanied by photographs taken by the author or from her family collection from the area surrounding Laguna Pueblo where Silko grew up.

Silko is a major figure in the Native American Renaissance because she takes her heritage seriously and weaves its traditions into works that are still contemporary in flavor. Silko well knows, as the Cottonwood poems make clear, that individual sacrifice is at times crucial to community survival.

Some may even call it experimental. A deep exploration of her culture and its resistance to oppressive forces.


A part of the landscape heretofore ordinary and unremarked has by means of the story been made precious to the child. And, by committing what has always been spoken into the static written word, is Silko actually impeding on the spontaneity and improvisation that storytelker always been an integral, perhaps even essential, element of these stories?

Her life has been a desperate journey and her final awakening involves the reestablishment of a vital, intimate connection to the land. It is this by which he lives in marmno communal memory, enriches the storytelling life of the people, and gains mythic dimension. Through an act of imagination she has learned a profound truth from the land which intensifies her bond to it. Like a story to tell.

Similarly, in the s, American Indian populations established themselves as political and cultural forces with which to be reckoned. Another possible meaning to ascribe to these effects pertains to the nature of storytellers and storytelling.

Storyteller |

Native American literature offers a clear understanding and a sincere appreciation of land, air, water and the interconnectedness of all to human beings. And, by extension, the same is true of oral tradition and the written word as ways of knowing and of expression.

To write about what you see silkp an important lesson for us to be able to start writing; and finally, she taught us that sometimes big is beautiful, but at other times less is more.