Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit” as Want to Read:
Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  606 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Bold and impassioned, sharp and defiant, Leslie Marmon Silko's essays evoke the spirit and voice of Native Americans. Whether she is exploring the vital importance literature and language play in Native American heritage, illuminating the inseparability of the land and the Native American people, enlivening the ways and wisdom of the old-time people, or exploding in outrag ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 18th 1997 by Simon Schuster (first published 1993)
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 Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  606 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 author’s 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 thought
Angie Fehl
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 e
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it
If you're new to Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit is a great introduction. If you already know her work, you'll probably appreciate this essay collection that much more. The titular essay introduces Leslie Marmon Silko to readers: a woman of mixed ancestry who grew up on the Laguna Pueblo reservation and became a writer, mostly known for her fiction (all of which looks excellent). She also incorporates photography and visual art into her written work, and she happen ...more
Jonah Raleigh
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
"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 poli
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at an antique/thrift store in rural PA. It caught my eye because I'd read stories by the author before in an undergrad lit class. This compilation of essays did not disappoint. I took a pen to it and made notes as I read.. so much learned about not only the Pueblo people but also about issues surrounding Native Americans in the US. Great read for anytime, but especially these times. ...more
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
«Like all human beings they [Pueblo people] are concerned with their continued survival as the people they believe themselves to be. What is essential to all Pueblo people is that generation after generation will continue to remember and to tell one another who they are, who they have been, and who they may become»
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-tbr
3.5 stars
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays
I absolutely LOVED this book. Leslie’s voice really came through for me in her writing. I can’t wait to read Ceremony next!
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 rep
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
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. Overa ...more
Devika Koppikar
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!

Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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. ...more
Apr 30, 2007 marked it as to-read
still have to read it. . .
read her previous stuff when i was in high school
Jul 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely collection of essays on Native American life/politics/history/narratives. It's beautiful, even handed, a wonderful read. ...more
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was an insight to my Native American fore fathers.
these are Essays on Native American Life today,
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Silko should maybe stick to fiction, but I still love it.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this book is beautiful.. silko writes with great imagery.:)
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
very good read! pretty much liked all the essays
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Short story. I read this for English 102 in October 2009.
I read this for my women writer's literature class. Another great example of Silko's wonderful descriptive poetic writing. ...more
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Well, I've read excerpts, and liked what I read. ...more
Aug 23, 2010 marked it as to-read
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. ...more
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Boring to me, but I guess a good example of turning native American traditional stories and using the within a piece of modernism.
K Kriesel
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
99% of the time, I can't stand books of essays. But this is such a vibrant, elegant book. ...more
Great collection of essays.
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Literary People: October 2014: Yellow Woman 1 5 Oct 13, 2014 06:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing
  • Outlawed
  • Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life
  • The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux
  • Diccionario en guerra (La Caja #10)
  • Tiny, Smiling Daddy
  • The Wild Things
  • A Rose for Emily
  • The Alchemy of Race and Rights
  • Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Lifeways, Edited and Illustrated (Library of Perennial Philosophy)
  • The Hairy Ape
  • Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
  • Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate's Modern Witchcraft
  • Hekate: Her Sacred Fires
  • Entering Hekate's Garden: The Magick, Medicine  Mystery of Plant Spirit Witchcraft
  • Celtic Tree Rituals: Ceremonies for the Thirteen Moon Months and a Day
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

In a year that seems to present new challenges for us at every turn, Julia Alvarez’s latest novel, Afterlife, has arrived at the perfect time.
47 likes · 14 comments
“Moonflowers blossom in the sand hills before dawn, just as I followed him. ” 14 likes
More quotes…