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Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit Paperback – March 18, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1ST edition (March 18, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684827077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684827070
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her title essay, famed novelist, short story writer and poet Silko recalls her encounters with racism while growing up on a Laguna Pueblo reservation in New Mexico (she is of mixed Indian, Mexican and white ancestry), then goes on to explore sexually uninhibited Laguna society before the arrival of Christian missionaries, when women took lovers as freely as men, and hunted and went to war along with the men. That provocative piece sets the tone for an outspoken collection of original essays in which Silko criticizes tribal councils as puppets of the U.S. government and blames President Clinton for what she considers racist immigration policies and for abetting the white and mestizo ruling classes of El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. She writes beautifully of Maya, Aztec and Mixtec codices, or folding books, relating their visual language to frescoes on pyramids and ancient dwellings. Her explorations of Pueblo myths and oral narratives emphasize the inextricable links between human identity, imagination and Mother Earth, a theme that resonates in an evocative essay, augmented by photographs, on the exotic rock formations around her home in Tucson's hills.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Another collection of essays, this from noted Native American novelist Silko (Almanac of the Dead, LJ 10/15/91).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Valentine on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Silko's collection of essays present an open, expansive view of her mind and art, her background and destiny. If you've read any of her other works, reading this short book will enrich your appreciation as well as assist you on the next step of your journey. If you haven't read any Silko yet, this is a gentle way to ease you into her writings.
I read it for the background that she gives about storytelling and the narrative process; for wonderful sentences like this: "The storyteller did not just tell the stories, they would in their way act them out. The storyteller would imitate voices for vast dialogues between the various figures of the story. So we sometimes say the moment is alive again within us, within our imagination and our memory, as we listen."
I read it for the wisdom of the old ways of the old-time people; like this: "...time was round--like a tortilla; time had specific moments and specific locations, so that the beloved ancestors who had passed on were not annihilated by death, but only relocated to the place called the Cliff House. At Cliff House, people continued as they had always been, although only spirits and not living humans can travel freely over this tortilla of time. All times go on existing side by side for all eternity. No moment is lost or destroyed. There are no future times or past times; there are 'always all' [her emphasis] the times, which differ slightly, as the locations on the tortilla differ slightly. The past and the future are the same because they exist only in the present of our imaginations...." and she continues, but, isn't that powerful? As well as good writing?
I also enjoyed reading of her political activism and her position on many issues of the west and Native-Americans.
For me, highly recommended. Can't you tell?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony Christini on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was extremely surprised to find this collection of essays not reviewed here. The title essay alone, "Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the spirit," carries more weight than most books in total, given the revelatory descriptions of traditional Laguna Pueblo culture.
Also, Silko's essay "The Border Patrol State" and other notes on border militarism and race related discrimination are important and timely, and increasingly relevant.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carol L. Navarrete on January 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The essay, "Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective" is one of the greatest cultural bridges ever constructed between the Euro-American, linear mind and that of the Native American. I've read and taught that essay many times and each time I go over it, I find another point that merits reflection. Consider, for example, the story about the little girl who drowns herself with that of a typical fairy tale. First of all, unlike the fairy tale, but pretty true to life, there is no happy ending. There are days that all our best efforts turn into snakes, children do commit suicide on the false belief that their mothers/families have rejected them, and if, as I believe, this story illustrates how stories fulfill the purpose of bringing people together, (the death of a child, particularly if the parent is the indirect cause through lapse of judgemnt, is the greatest grief to bear, and knowing that others have also experienced it does give the strength to go on living), it does so on more than a superfical level. The essay itself illustrates non-linear thinking as it does not go from point A to B to C, but starts at C and radiates out from that focal point, "like a spider's web." For those who want a true and accurate insight as to Pueblo thought and experience, this book is one of the best. It also helps that Leslie Marmon Silko is a master writer.
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