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Leslie Marmon Silko Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Ceremony (1977)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Almanac of the Dead (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gardens in the Dunes (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Oceanstory (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Delicacy and Strength of Lace (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sacred Water (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Turquoise Ledge (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Storyteller (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Yellow Woman (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Laguna Woman (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Leslie Marmon Silko
Leslie Marmon Silko is a literary fiction author and a respected Native American writer specializing in the Laguna Pueblo tribe. The talented author received a Genius Grant in 1981 for her work and her role in bringing the so-called Native American Renaissance and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. For Silko, writing has always been the only thing she wanted to do. After getting her BA in 1969, Silko briefly attended law school but later ditched it for her literary career. This author currently lives in Tuscon, Arizona.

Ceremony
Ceremony tells the story of Tayo, a Native American, and his experiences during and after the second world war. Tayo was imprisoned in Japan, and the horrors he experiences in captivity stick with him long after the war is over. The young man is depressed, sick, and struggling with PTSD, and despite his efforts, he finds it hard to reintegrate into society. While others like him result in alcohol and violence to mask their pain, Tayo takes a different route. He takes a journey back to the Indian past and traditions. Here he meets Betonie, a medicine man who explains about evil, witchcraft, and the ancient stories of his ancestors. For Tayo, the journey back to the past becomes a ritual, and with it comes the cure for his despair and afflictions.

This novel reflects just how interconnected human beings are, even though this link may not be obvious. Because we do not see the interconnection, we continue to destroy everything in our wake. We destroy ourselves, those around us, and the world we live in. By seeing how Los Alamos and atomic bombs that ruined his life are linked, Tayo is able to make this connection and save his life. Betonie helps Tayo recognize the reason Japanese voices were similar to the Laguna ones. Through Josiah and Rocky, we see how two worlds and cultures converge in a ceremony where witchery is done through sand painting.

The author takes the reader back to a time when human beings were united against the forces working to their disadvantage. It is this discovery that finally convinces Tayo that he was never crazy. The fact that he always viewed the world without boundaries meant that he was right all along. One of the points the author tries to put across is that whatever happens to one person affects others at the community or national level. This means that while maintaining harmony and balance is easy; there is always the danger that another person can injure someone. However, we all hold power to start the healing process and engage in ceremonies that can bring the change that we want.

Ceremony is a hopeful book. This tale ends with sunrise and healing, and for now, the witchery is no more. However, the author points out how difficult the journey has been. Fixing up things is never easy, and there is always the possibility that the damage will be done once again. All it takes is one person who tears the delicate web and allows the sun rays to spill into the sand for the world to be injured once again. This book will make you reflect on some of the common things that happen in life and see how everything would be different with a shift in thinking. If you are a historical fiction fan, you will love this book.

Almanac of the Dead
Almanac of the Dead focuses on the Western Euro-centric culture and its effect on the Native American culture. The author puts the Euro-centric culture on the spot and highlights the different ways its greed, cruelty, and destruction affected Native American culture and other native cultures around the world. You can feel the anger in the pages as the author highlights one damning evidence after another. However, the author is quick to point out that this is not her anger. All of it comes from the earth. It is intriguing to see how things look when a story is told from the conquered point instead of the conquerors.
Reading this book, it is easy also to be angry about the cruelty experienced in what the author terms as the Reign on Death-eye Dog. However, all is not gloom as the author also talks of a brighter future. There will come a time when change is necessary for the sake of the others, and humans have no choice but to go back to a more traditional kind of life. Silko puts the earth and its spiritual aspect at the heart of this tale, and, unfortunately, it appears to be the only sympathetic character. The world painted by the author highlights the evils in the world. Through her work, Silko provides a mirror that the readers can use to look at themselves and possibly change their ways.

Despite her bold stance, it is refreshing that the author doesn’t reduce this book into a western is bad and native is good story. Through the different characters, we see how everyone is corrupted or corruptible, so none of us is better than the other. What starts as a drug traffic thriller turns into a heartbreaking story that spans over 500 years. The story comes with many layers and histories, all expertly woven into an intriguing tale, and with close to 70 characters, you can get what different people think about these situations.

Almanac of the Dead is a perfect choice if you are interested in ferocious and unapologetic fiction. This is no easy read. There is a lot of hurting truths here, but if you can get through the brutality, you will surely enjoy the journey. Using extraordinary characters and cultures, the author weaves ideas, history, lives, and fate in an attempt to show the moral history of Americans. This book is over 700 pages long, so it will take a while to finish, but this is one of those stories that stay with you for a long time. Want to get a different look at America’s history? This book would be a good place to begin.

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