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Storyteller

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,378 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
A collection of stories focuses on contemporary Native American concerns--white injustice, the fragmenting of the Indian community, and the loss of tribal identity--and recalls Indian legends and tribal stories.
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 28th 1989 by Arcade Pub (first published April 1st 1980)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
"She was an old woman now, and her life had become memories." She's Ayah, an Indian woman, and her story encapsulates the persecution and suffering of the Native Americans in the hands of the white colonizers.

I had always suspected that great literature often springs out of suffering, whether of individuals or of peoples.

I dream of the day when one of these starving North Koreans would come out with a secretly-written magnum opus of the suffering of his people and win the Nobel Prize for Liter
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Kate Barber
The Storyteller is a landscape text, nearly A4 in size, containing a mixture of biography, poetry, folk tales, fiction and songs. Within the contrasting topics Silko seems to be bringing together all aspects of her Pueblo culture, through the stories that her Aunt Suzie told her as a child, to her modern fiction. Mixed within these are family photographs and images of the author as a child with her family. She seems to be trying to repudiate the above statement, showing that although they may be ...more
Jesse
Nov 07, 2009 Jesse rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
"...passed down from an entire culture/ by word of mouth/ an entire history/ an entire vision of the world/ which depended on memory/ and retelling by subsequent generations"

In and of itself, Storyteller is most certainly a beautiful piece of work. With a prose style as spare as the arid New Mexico desert landscapes glimpsed throughout the book, Silko's collection of poetry, short stories, autobiographical musings, letter extracts and photography is a formidable achievement however you chose to
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SmarterLilac
Feb 13, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There are few better than Silko.
Vashti Puls
Mar 09, 2010 Vashti Puls rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time which explores how we all are the story and create the story even as we write and live the story.
Lisa
Mar 12, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
awesome!awesome!awesome! i've misplaced my copy and need to get it back. it's one of my favorite books to just pick up and read a part of. needs to be back on my shelf!
Tanaya
Jan 21, 2008 Tanaya rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Native American books and author.
Nurkastelia A.
Aug 05, 2007 Nurkastelia A. rated it really liked it
The beautiful thing about literature is that there is no actual limitation to the words used in making an artwork. There is no regulation about how many words we must include, or what word choices we have when writing about something. I'm sure a lot of poets and authors are grateful for this because this really pushes the boundaries of creating something new, wonderful, and with clever, big words. However, we must realize that being 'clever' can sometimes lead the readers to confusion; and rathe ...more
Jay
Apr 17, 2016 Jay rated it it was amazing
A lot of people I meet tell me they have a book inside of them. Like a story to tell. They 19ve lived an interesting life they say. But, what can you possibly tell them? The experience doesn 19t make them 1Cwriters. 1D

That 19s why I 19m amazed by the magical stories Leslie Marmon Silko 19s 1CThe Storyteller. 1D Here is a young Indian woman that reaches into her soul and pulls out a book. She writes both the mystery and violence of her culture. She blends her deep-felt history and religion with t
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Jim
Jun 06, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: thc, the-west
Storyteller is an arresting portmanteau of stories, tales, poems and autobiographical prose mixed together with photographs depicting the author and her family. Not all the pieces are titled, and there's an overlap between the stories where they old and the new bleed together. Some come from family history, some are culled from the larger tradition of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. Some of the poems tell stories and some of the stories express images and metaphors in poetic language. Trying to ...more
Michelle Boyer
Storyteller is a collection of short stories, poems, and photographs by Laguna poet and author Leslie Marmon Silko. First and foremost, the photographs are a must have if you are looking for a new copy of this work. Many of these photograph ground the stories and poems there are connected to, giving a visual hint to readers that may not have seen some of the things that Silko is discussing. Much of the focus is on oral tradition, and upholding it from generation to generation.

See the poem on (p
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Don Flynn
Aug 28, 2013 Don Flynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mix of poetry, short fiction, and photographs, relating to the author and her family's story, as well as the story of Native people in North America. 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. Her flashes of anger are more than understandable when you know the history of it. It's heartening to see Native issues and lifestyle ...more
Roewoof
May 13, 2014 Roewoof rated it it was amazing
I really took my time with this one. And I'm glad that I did because it's excellent. I have no doubt that I'll be reading it many times over.

Storyteller is a collection of stories, memories, and photographs passed down to Silko from her family and community. The entire collection is exquisitely beautiful, and touching, but my favorite poems and stories by far were the ones of Yellow Woman who I identified the most with. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you're interested in un
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Andy
Sep 30, 2007 Andy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who still believe in folklore
This book made me feel like I was in the southwest with its varied collection of stories, poems, and pictures. What really drew me to this collection was the common theme of folklore trying to survive in the modern age, the most famous example here being that of "Yellow Woman." This collection is will be loved for those who feel a spiritual connection to nature as Silko commonly brings up different aspects of nature as an inspiration for the characters that populate this book.
Lauren
Jan 17, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic compilation of the influences that contribute to storytelling and cultural identity. Silko's collection is wide ranging and informative, yet personal and clear in its role as a single contribution to a necessarily polyvocal, transgenerational, communal identity creation and understanding. A very valuable contribution to Native American and US Literature.
Dr.gaildavis
Apr 15, 2008 Dr.gaildavis rated it it was amazing
I began this novel thinking that it seemed rather shallow. As I got deeper into the book, the characters came alive. I loved that I could picture the geography so perfectly because we had lived there. When I realized that this was a first novel, written when the author was still in school, I began to understand what an accomplishment it was. It is breathtaking.
Dave
Oct 14, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Everything about this book is different. Some may even call it experimental. But I never felt like this was Leslie Marmon Silko's idea of an experiment. The writing was just her. Her voice, her story, her roots. Few other books succeed in transmitting the same depth and breadth of life. It was, if nothing else, a nice change from the stacks of "novels" I deal with every day.
Rachel
May 10, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I loved about this book was it's complete lack of any self-conscious explanation of itself. It's like the author is saying to me,"Here's what's important to know." and allowing me to make the connections between the parts myself. A very unusual format for a book, both distant and intimate in different turns, like hanging out with a real person.
Nicole
Sep 26, 2007 Nicole rated it really liked it
This is not for everyone, but it is compelling. The short stories here are tightly written and insightful about Native American culture. It's very teachable, so long as you pair it with something a bit more uplifting. The images inside are lovely as well. An intriguing text with much teaching potential.
Kyle Aisteach
Jun 26, 2012 Kyle Aisteach rated it it was amazing
A charming collection of poetry, autobiographical sketches, and short prose pieces, this book engages the reader quite effectively. Silko's personal approach creates a strong narrative presence that gives the impression you're listening to a storyteller spinning tales just for you. The pieces range from lightly humorous to very dark, and throughout I found myself wanting to move forward.
Amy Layton
Wow, this was fantastic. It was stunning to watch Silko put a Western framework over the Laguna oral traditions. Personally, I'd have to say my favorite was Yellow Woman, based on Kochininako and Cottonwood stories.
Jessie
Dec 15, 2008 Jessie rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, nonfiction
Beautiful gathering of tales that mesh ancient & modern Laguna experience; I love the power of the storyteller to enact reality--a major focus of Martin's WAY OF THE HUMAN BEING, so great to rd/teach these 2 together.
Johnna  Gurgel
Jul 08, 2015 Johnna Gurgel rated it really liked it
- Powerful and simple stories and poems make for a punch to the gut at this look at Silko's work
- Range of prose and poetry give girth to the picture Silko paints
- Content of Native American life approached in unique and impacting fashion
Cheryl
Mar 11, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much about Native American storytelling and history from the format and context of this book. It really encouraged me to think outside my culture.
Cheyenne Black
Mar 29, 2014 Cheyenne Black rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-finished
Gorgeous in every way. To take an oral tradition and capture the essence is challenging, but she's done it here.
Gretchen Chan
Aug 08, 2015 Gretchen Chan rated it really liked it
Poetry and prose, good format, works with theme of book, thought provoking look at how words form memeory and contain culture.
Colin
Mar 09, 2017 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great commingling of the truth a newspaper might tell, and all the other kinds of truth that we call stories.

I am going to miss opening this book before bed, and wondering what new voices, what new personae each new story would bring into my life.
Matt
Feb 20, 2017 Matt rated it it was amazing
Amazing and excellent book - I loved the ways the genres in the book worked together to give you a feel of the people and place. Powerful and definitely moving!
Rueben
Sep 30, 2008 Rueben rated it liked it
Great Pueblo woman perspectives, short stories and such. It's fun to read about the cultural area of Laguna Pueblo and surrounding landmarks. I read this while i was staying in Acoma, not to far from Leslie's homeland. I liked the presence of the black and jagged lava rocks, i, personally, explored them myself, the ones by the freeway.
i especially enjoyed the story about the old man and the old woman in the snow; it made me cry.
Rachel
Oct 27, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: western-am-lit
This is a collection of Native American stories told in prose, poetry, and photos. The stories raise questions about the role of stories and how their meanings change over time, and how a storyteller makes something by telling a story. I had a little trouble following some of the stories, but I attribute that to my unfamiliarity with Native American lore (though I recognized Spider Woman!) and the new kind of genre Silko uses.
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Leslie Marmon Silko (born Leslie Marmon; born March 5, 1948) is a Native American writer of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, and one of the key figures in the First Wave of what literary critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.

Silko was a debut recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Grant, now known as the "Genius Grant", in 1981 and the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Life
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