Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Storyteller” as Want to Read:
Storyteller
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Storyteller

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,711 ratings  ·  59 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Storyteller, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Storyteller

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,711 ratings  ·  59 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
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
...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
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There are few better than Silko.
Jesse
Nov 07, 2009 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
...more
The Dyslexic Bookworm
I only read the short story Lullaby from this book for class, and I have to say that it was eye opening. This book educated me on a moment in American history that was dark and traumatic for the Native American Population.

The short-story Lullaby details the story of Ayah, a woman who gets her children sent away to an American Indian Boarding School. It tells how it breaks her husband and her apart and how she is never the same after it happened.

While the story details what happened to the parent
...more
Vashti Puls
Mar 09, 2010 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 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 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Native American books and author.
Benjamin Kass
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a harder one to review. It's all stories: stories of the author's family, stories passed on to her, stories she has created to make a point, poems which serve the stories. There isn't really categorization here but that's the point--why build fences between these stories when they're all serving the same purpose?

At first this book confused me, to be honest, but once I realized it was acting as a storyteller does--not sticking with one train of thought or story but ranging widely--I began
...more
Nurkastelia A.
Aug 05, 2007 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 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
...more
Jim
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-west, thc
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
...more
Don Flynn
Aug 28, 2013 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 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
...more
Andy
Sep 30, 2007 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.
Kyle Aisteach
Jun 26, 2012 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.
Dave
Oct 14, 2009 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 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 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.
Dr.gaildavis
Apr 15, 2008 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.
Lauren
Jan 17, 2014 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.
Jessie
Dec 15, 2008 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 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
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.
Cheyenne Black
Mar 29, 2014 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 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.
Cheryl
Mar 11, 2014 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.
Cat
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful poetry and stories. I've been through so many of the places mentioned so the beauty of the lands described are really vivid. I love that region of the Southwest and enjoy reading about the Pueblo people's culture especially stories of the Spider Woman. Some of the poem verses that got me were

Your mountain snowstorm flies against the glass screen until we both are buried.

And this one:

He took great care with the ribs marveling at the structure which had contained the lungs and heart. Ske
...more
Alouy Martinez
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this book on my third to last semester of college for a class and I'm finally finishing it. Two years later I think. The books are great, the poetry is especially sweet and profound, part of it took me a while and because I had to learn a bit of the culture of the Laguna, Navajo and so on tribes. The stories which where what our class mostly focused about were very vivid, and cultural. I really enjoy these books, a must read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • She Had Some Horses
  • The Way to Rainy Mountain
  • Mean Spirit
  • The Grass Dancer
  • Winter in the Blood
  • Baptism of Desire
  • The Surrounded
  • The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions
  • Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing
See similar books…
439 followers
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Anybody can act violently--there is nothing to it, but not every person is able to destroy his enemy with words.” 1 likes
More quotes…