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Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – December 26, 2006
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--The Washington Post Book World
Ceremony is the greatest novel in Native American literature. It is one of the greatest novels of any time and place. I have read this book so many times that I probably have it memorized. I teach it and I learn from it and I am continually in awe of its power, beauty, rage, vision, and violence.
Her assurance, her gravity, her flexibility are all wonderful gifts.
--The New York Review of Books
The novel is very deliberately a ceremony in itself—demanding but confident and beautifully written.
--The Boston Globe
Without question Leslie Marmon Silko is the most accomplished Native American writer of her generation.
--The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-eight novels, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove. His other works include two collections of essays, three memoirs, and more than thirty screenplays, including the coauthorship of Brokeback Mountain, for which he received the Academy Award.
Top Customer Reviews
Elders arrange a healing ceremony for him, but the healer is a maverick, not tied to traditional methods. Tayo's whole life and consciousness merge into the healing process and that process begins to look like a prescription for the Indian peoples in North America to heal nearly-fatal wounds dealt their cultures over the last five centuries. Silko sees the materialism and violence of Western civilization as a curse threatening the continued existence of everyone on the planet, a curse stemming from evil itself rather than from a particular group of people. In tones that ring most uncannily today, she wrote in 1977 [p.Read more ›
"Ceremony" is a journey of the soul, a Bataan Death March that we are all forced to experience at some point or another in our lives. That is what makes this novel timeless and accessible to us all. Leslie Marmon Silko, who I believe won a literary award for this novel, opens the heart and mind of the reader to a theme which has been recorded since the ancient Greeks (see Aeschylus' "Oresteia"), that of mathos through pathos, enlightenment through suffering.
Having already paid a heavy price as a veteran of WWII, Tayo returns to the suffering of his tribe. It is then that Tayo is able to recover what he never knew he had lost, his heritage and soul that was intricately linked to everyone and everything around him. The author attacks the demons plaguing Tayo with the rich symbolism in Native American culture (pay particular attention to the use of yellow and blue colors) and the aid of an enigmatic medicine man. Silko's weapons are in Native American song and myth, histories that empower Tayo to fight the state of mind that oppresses the Laguna Pueblo people on his reservation. With this, Tayo is able to finish his Bataan Death march once and for all, his past behind him, and his heart born again as true a Native American.
Review of Ceremony
War is one of the most terrible evils man has known, yet is has been going on for ages. Since the beginning of known history man has been at war with his fellow man, himself and the world. In Leslie Marmon's novel Ceremony the point of view towards war is different from that of most people. A sense of loss takes central stage in the novel; loss of loved ones, loss of land, of heritage, and loss of self. Tayo and his cousin, Rocky, joined the army looking for a way out and adventure, they would go and fight a Great War. While fighting in the jungles of Asia, Rocky gets killed. Now Tayo is back, the war is over, but not for him. Tayo feels responsible for his cousin's death. He was supposed to protect him and he failed, and now his memory haunts Tayo's every second of existence. In the beginning of the novel we take a look into Tayo's disturbed and tormented mind, as he takes us along the story of his life, of death, war, and rejection. Tayo is a man desperately trying to hold on to his sanity while he wastes it away on a bottle of alcohol which sends him into constant sickness spells and confines him to a bed from which he is terrified to move. As his sickness progresses, Tayo is taken to see a medicine man that sends him on a journey to retrieve his uncle's dreams, thus putting his own fears and doubts to rest. It is during this journey that Tayo completes his healing process with the aid of a woman with whom he will fall deeply in love, Ts'eh, a mystical character that appears and disappears various time in the novel, seeming as if a dream or a creation of Tayo's mind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
multi dimensional spiritual book with a slow start and a deep endingPublished 8 days ago by ronda gallemore
I hate this book with everything I have. This was the absolute worst book I have EVER read. Maybe that's why I put off reviewing this book for so long. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Madison
A tough read, yet a very important book. Authentic. Clear. True to the people and the time. White people need this book. We know so little and need to know so much.Published 1 month ago by Jane Mary Curran
I didn't like Ceremony at all. I found it confusing and very difficult to read. If it weren't a required text for a college course I would have never stayed with it to the end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michale Edwards
it was alright. felt like the author relied too much on explicitly utilizing metaphorical images throughout the book rather than keep things subtle. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jason
Silko captures the fugue, guilt, anger, and silent hurt of PTSD better than any novelist I've yet read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jones
One of the best writers. I am in love with Silko's writing and structure of story. She is a master.Published 3 months ago by Grace
This was a great idea for a novel, but not a great novel.
The protagonist, Tayo, is a half-blooded Laguna Indian World War II veteran. Read more