A highly original and poetic self-portrait from one of America's most acclaimed writers. Leslie Marmon Silko's new book, her first in ten years, combines memoir with family history and reflections on the creatures and beings that command her attention and inform her vision of the world, taking readers along on her daily walks through the arroyos and ledges of the Sonoran desert in Arizona. Silko weaves tales from her family's past into her observations, using the turquoise stones she finds on the walks to unite the strands of her stories, while the beauty and symbolism of the landscape around her, and of the snakes, birds, dogs, and other animals that share her life and form part of her family, figure prominently in her memories. Strongly influenced by Native American storytelling traditions, The Turquoise Ledge becomes a moving and deeply personal contemplation of the enormous spiritual power of the natural world-of what these creatures and landscapes can communicate to us, and how they are all linked. The book is Silko's first extended work of nonfiction, and its ambitious scope, clear prose, and inventive structure are captivating. The Turquoise Ledge will delight loyal fans and new readers alike, and it marks the return of the unique voice and vision of a gifted storyteller.
There’s “western,” and then there’s “Western”—and where history becomes myth is an evocative question, one of several questions posed by Josh Garrett-Davis in What Is a Western? Region, Genre, Imagination. Part cultural criticism, part history, and wholly entertaining, this series of essays on specific films, books, music, and other cultural texts brings a fresh perspective to long-studied topics. Under Garrett-Davis’s careful observation, cultural objects such as films and literature, art and artifacts, and icons and oddities occupy the terrain of where the West as region meets the Western genre. One crucial through line in the collection is the relationship of regional “western” works to genre “Western” works, and the ways those two categories cannot be cleanly distinguished—most work about the West is tinted by the Western genre, and Westerns depend on the region for their status and power. Garrett-Davis also seeks to answer the question “What is a Western now?” To do so, he brings the Western into dialogue with other frameworks of the “imagined West” such as Indigenous perspectives, the borderlands, and environmental thinking. The book’s mosaic of subject matter includes new perspectives on the classic musical film Oklahoma!, a consideration of Native activism at Standing Rock, and surprises like Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. The book is influenced by the borderlands theory of Gloria Anzaldúa and the work of the indie rock band Calexico, as well as the author’s own discipline of western cultural history. Richly illustrated, primarily from the collection of the Autry Museum of the American West, Josh Garrett-Davis’s work is as visually interesting as it is enlightening, asking readers to consider the American West in new ways.
Ceremony, Almanac of the Dead, Gardens in the Dunes
Author: David L. Moore
Pubpsher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
A major American writer at the turn of this millennium, Leslie Marmon Silko has also been one of the most powerful voices in the flowering of Native American literature since the publication of her 1977 novel Ceremony. This guide, with chapters written by leading scholars of Native American literature, explores Silko's major novels Ceremony, Almanac of the Dead, and Gardens in the Dunes as an entryway into the full body of her work that includes poetry, essays, short fiction, film, photography, and other visual art. These chapters map Silko's place in the broad context of American literary history. Further, they trace her pivotal role in prompting other Indigenous writers to enter the conversations she helped to launch. Along the way, the book engages her historical themes of land, ethnicity, race, gender, trauma, and healing, while examining her narrative craft and her mythic lyricism.
Release on 2014-07-31 | by James H. Cox,Daniel Heath Justice
Author: James H. Cox,Daniel Heath Justice
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Over the course of the last twenty years, Native American and Indigenous American literary studies has experienced a dramatic shift from a critical focus on identity and authenticity to the intellectual, cultural, political, historical, and tribal nation contexts from which these Indigenous literatures emerge. The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature reflects on these changes and provides a complete overview of the current state of the field. The Handbook's forty-three essays, organized into four sections, cover oral traditions, poetry, drama, non-fiction, fiction, and other forms of Indigenous American writing from the seventeenth through the twenty-first century. Part I attends to literary histories across a range of communities, providing, for example, analyses of Inuit, Chicana/o, Anishinaabe, and Métis literary practices. Part II draws on earlier disciplinary and historical contexts to focus on specific genres, as authors discuss Indigenous non-fiction, emergent trans-Indigenous autobiography, Mexicanoh and Spanish poetry, Native drama in the U.S. and Canada, and even a new Indigenous children's literature canon. The third section delves into contemporary modes of critical inquiry to expound on politics of place, comparative Indigenism, trans-Indigenism, Native rhetoric, and the power of Indigenous writing to communities of readers. A final section thoroughly explores the geographical breadth and expanded definition of Indigenous American through detailed accounts of literature from Indian Territory, the Red Atlantic, the far North, Yucatán, Amerika Samoa, and Francophone Quebec. Together, the volume is the most comprehensive and expansive critical handbook of Indigenous American literatures published to date. It is the first to fully take into account the last twenty years of recovery and scholarship, and the first to most significantly address the diverse range of texts, secondary archives, writing traditions, literary histories, geographic and political contexts, and critical discourses in the field.
Step outside your door and reconnect with nature. From the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life comes a guide that will replenish your connection to the earth and inspire you to develop and strengthen your imagination. The natural world has inspired artists, seekers, and thinkers for millennia, but in recent times, as the pace of life has sped up, its demands have moved us indoors. Yet nature’s capacity to lead us to important truths, to invigorate and restore our imagination and equilibrium, is infinite. Step into Nature makes nature personal again by stimulating awareness and increasing our understanding of the environment. But being in nature doesn’t mean flying off to remote, faraway places. Nature is as close as opening your front door—and opening your heart to the sky above, the miniature gardens that push their way up between the sidewalk cracks in our cities, and the small stream just down the road. Patrice Vecchione demonstrates how nature can support and enhance your creative output, invigorate your curiosity, and restore your sense of connection to and love of the earth. Included throughout the book is “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” exercises and suggestions for practical and unexpected ways to stimulate your imagination, deepen your relationship with nature, and experience the harmony between creativity and the natural world.
"Americans are still fascinated by the romantic notion of the "noble savage," yet know little about the real Native peoples of North America. This two-volume work seeks to remedy that by examining stereotypes and celebrating the true cultures of American Indians today"--
Maxine Hong Kingston and Leslie Marmon Silko on the Politics of Imagining the Past
Author: Joanna Ziarkowska
Pubpsher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Retold Stories, Untold Histories concentrates on how challenging questions concerning the nature of historical representation, the formation of national/ethnic identities, and creative agendas are addressed in the diverse and inspiring writings of Maxine Hong Kingston and Leslie Marmon Silko. The rationale behind juxtaposing two writers coming from diverse cultural contexts originates in the fact that both Kingston and Silko share the experience of historical and cultural marginalization and, more importantly, devise similar methods of rendering it in creative writing. Writing from the perspective of two distinct marginalized groups, Kingston and Silko share the view that the official version of national history may be seen as a narrative of misrepresentation and the exclusion of people who either greatly contributed to the building of the country or occupied the territory of the present United States long before its creation. In their texts, both writers engage in a polemic against a history that, using its legitimizing power as a scientific discipline, produces and perpetuates stereotypical images of Chinese and Native Americans, and, more importantly, eliminates the two groups from the process of constructing the national narratives of origins that monitor and control the borders of what constitutes American identity. Despite apparent differences in cultural and historical contexts, Kingston and Silko share an enthusiasm for employing unconventional tools and sources for offering creative reconstructions of a past which had been silenced or repressed.
An outstanding work crafted from the handwritten pages of translations from the Navajo of the late Father Berard Haile giving three separate versions of the Blessingway rite with each version consisting of a prose text accompanied by the ritual songs and prayers. Valuable insights into the character and use of the Blessingway rite; its ceremonial procedures, its mythology, and its drypaintings.