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Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit: Essays on Native American Life Today

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Impassioned, defiant essays on the culture of Native Americans and their position in society--by the heralded author of Almanac of the Dead. Leslie Marmon Silko turns her fury, clear vision, and eloquent voice to a brilliant collection of essays on subjects ranging from rocks and rain to the injustice of the Anglo-American legal system. Photos.
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1993)
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Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays on similar themes, with a lot on storytelling, family, and photos, so some parts repeat almost exactly word for word.

That being said, each essay in itself is interesting, with good things to think about. Working together, they are even better.

It makes me want to read more by the author.
Indie Vargas
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit

I only read the essay Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit,therefore my review consist on this essay not on the entirety of the book.This short essay was beautifully written,it made it's points clear,convincing and engaging.The story is a narrative told by the authors perspective, in an interesting way she gives us an insight on the Laguna Pueblo people and their culture,which is very intriguing and different.The culture,which is one of the main thoughts
Angie Fehl
2.5 Stars

In this collection of essays, Silko, a member of the Pueblo Nation, discusses art, symbolism, and overall cultural growth within the Pueblo community. Some of the topics covered in Yellow Woman (the title of the book coming from one of the essays enclosed):

* Symbolism in Pueblo art, ie. use of squash blossom on pottery designs = possible berringer of death, lightning imagery could mean good fortune, karmaj petals used for their symetry to represent four corners of the earth or four
Jonah Raleigh
"To them, the land was as dear as a child, and as I listened, I felt the loss and the anger too, as if it all had happened only yesterday."

Although I only read around the first half of the book for my class, I was pleasantly surprised with Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit. The introduction felt rather tedious, but the collection of essays that followed were engaging and offered a great deal of insight into Pueblo culture and spirituality, as well as a broader scope of Native American
Jen Mays
Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: This is a short collection of essays compiled about twenty years ago from items that had mostly been previously published in other magazines and journals. Per the author's note, some grammar and other writing issues were fixed between the first publication and the second, but for the most part, they were as they were written originally.

I had picked up the book because of my F2F book group's topic of Women's History for our upcoming discussion, but the essays weren't so
Michelle Boyer-Kelly
To begin, I was a little disenchanted by the fact that all of the essays in this collection had already been previously published. I was expecting that a few might be "new" to readers. Otherwise, one could be disappointed with the fact that they had already read her 1980s-1994 material, which was then just combined in 1997 into this book. That being said, perhaps it is good to have a collection of essays in one book, because they are easier to reference this way.

At times, the essays can get
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a book group I belong to. As I read the introduction, my trepidation increased...I thought it was going to be a very dry, angry book that is difficult to get through. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there are sections where the author is angry - and justifiably so. But, I found the book provided insight into Pueblo spirituality and culture. There were essays that were repetitive, but I don't know that she wrote the essays with the intent of compiling them someday. ...more
Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Silko provides the backstory to her prominent novels. Her initial essay on interior/exterior landscape is essential reading for those interested in understanding Native American Literatures. Included is a re-publication of her famous (eponymous) story and she also references how important photography has been in her art. I think it a highly readable, highly significant book in understand her art in the context of widening circles of appreciation.
Devika Koppikar
Overall, this book was insightful about the Native American view of life. For example, Silko went into detail of how Native Americans view time in a circular pattern. I had read about this concept before - but Silko draws it out clearly. My only critique of this book is that some sections are repeated. I understand it's a compilation of essays - but it should have been condensed at the publication level. It will save the trees of this beautiful land which is a part of all of us!

Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: native-american
The short essays in this book discuss Native American culture today, as well as polotics, writing, and art. A common theme throughout the book is the Laguna Pueblo tribe of New Mexico. I found the writing to be powerful, honest, and beautiful (as others have already described it). I will definitely be reading more books by this author.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silko's book of essays about being caught between the worlds of Native America and the Anglo world contains stories of her grandmothers and Aunt Lucy, and reflections about the rocks and topography near Tucson as living beings with stories of their own.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an insight to my Native American fore fathers.
these are Essays on Native American Life today,
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring to me, but I guess a good example of turning native American traditional stories and using the within a piece of modernism.
Apr 30, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
still have to read it. . .
read her previous stuff when i was in high school
I read this for my women writer's literature class. Another great example of Silko's wonderful descriptive poetic writing.
Great collection of essays.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very good read! pretty much liked all the essays
Well, I've read excerpts, and liked what I read.
Aug 23, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've only read the Introduction and im intrigued. It tells of home for me and sandstone and rain on the desert sand. I cant wait to read more.
Erin Bird
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely love Silko.
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely collection of essays on Native American life/politics/history/narratives. It's beautiful, even handed, a wonderful read.
K Kriesel
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
99% of the time, I can't stand books of essays. But this is such a vibrant, elegant book.
Jul 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So depressing to read about the utopian society that I dream about...and learn that it once existed, and was destroyed. You'll start looking at trees and dogs differently after this one.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silko should maybe stick to fiction, but I still love it.
Jul 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
beautifully written
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is beautiful.. silko writes with great imagery.:)
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Short story. I read this for English 102 in October 2009.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2009
Maggie Dwyer
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2017
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Mar 02, 2013
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Literary People: October 2014: Yellow Woman 1 5 Oct 13, 2014 06:55AM  

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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

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