Storyteller
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Storyteller

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  914 ratings  ·  37 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 Publishing (first published April 1st 1980)
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman AlexieLove Medicine by Louise ErdrichBeyond the World of Man by Sheryl SealReservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
Native American Fiction
96th out of 463 books — 429 voters
Tracks by Louise ErdrichThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieStoryteller by Leslie Marmon SilkoDark River by Louis OwensThe Grass Dancer by Susan Power
Native American Favorites
3rd out of 33 books — 17 voters


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Jesse
"...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...more
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
SmarterLilac
There are few better than Silko.
Lisa
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!
Vashti Puls
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.
Tanaya
One of my favorite Native American books and author.
Nurkastelia A.
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
Jim
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
Lauren
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.
Cheryl
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.
Don Flynn
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
Cheyenne Black
Gorgeous in every way. To take an oral tradition and capture the essence is challenging, but she's done it here.
Andy
Oct 01, 2007 Andy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Rueben
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
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.
Kyle Aisteach
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.
Dave
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.
Dr.gaildavis
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.
Rachel
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.
Steph
May 20, 2010 Steph added it
Recommends it for: Everyone
I read this for my introduction to literature for English majors class. This was my introduction to silko. What I loved about this book while it can be read cover to cover, I can also read segments and get something out of it. This book introduced me to poetry/prose combined which really intrigued me and made me a silko fan.
Nicole
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.
Abby
Jul 27, 2011 Abby added it
Love this book. It's borderless, it's visual and it's down-to-earth. It's an experience that requires all of your inborn skills as a listener and as a person wired to appreciate story. This is the way history should be told, if the teller is being honest.
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
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.
Rebecca
I believe that storytelling can be used as healing and LMS takes the stories that were handed down to her by her grandmother, changes them into her own, and retells them, thus using them in healing herself.
Matt
Oct 16, 2010 Matt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Matt by: Prof. Laura Furlan
Required reading #2 for American Indian Literature at UMASS-Amherst with Prof. Laura Furlan. Definitely worth re-reading, formatted unlike anything else on my bookshelf.
Claire
I love how you can pick up the book and start reading the stories from any page you want... continues with the theme of circles and cycles that she talks about.
Ariel
This book is sort of charming. It's got some sort of touchy feeley aspects but what I really like is the blending of the quaint with the mundane indignities of reality.
Natalie
A collection of Native American stories. Really quick read. It's nice that it's just a bunch of stories so you can skip around or stop and start as you like.
Alison
Sep 26, 2007 Alison rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Native American poetry/stories
The poetry can be confusing at times, but the short stories (there are 4, I think) are fantastic.
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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...more
More about Leslie Marmon Silko...
Ceremony Almanac of the Dead Gardens in the Dunes Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir

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