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Storyteller Paperback – April 28, 1989

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; Reissue edition (April 28, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155970005X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559700054
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Valentine on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Librarians have a difficult time finding a place for this book. Should it go into the autobiographical section? There's a great deal of her past and her family's heritage in this book. Should it be placed next to the poetry books? She has included several of her poems. What about fiction? She has several of her famous short stories ("Storyteller," "Yellow Woman," "Lullaby,") collected here. It's even got photojournalism in it--26 photos taken by either herself or her father. Even the shape of the book is peculiar. Maybe this might disenchant a reader who would rather have boundaries and borders. But I found it amazing.
Of course, she puts the table of contents at the end of the book. And the beginning of the book is in the center, with her poem "Long Time Ago," and should be read outwards, like the circular, centrifugal pattern in a spider web.
She keeps the memories alive of her the old people by telling her stories. She relates in her poetry and fiction, narratives that are reflective, alarming, magical, and, well, fascinating. The voice is consistent, strong, and rhythmic. Thought Woman has been at work here.
I recommend this book for those that want to learn, who want to challenge themselves by being confronted, who long to find a book to counsel and lead them into reflections, and who respect all things, past, present, and possible.
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Leslie Marmon Silko's book STORYTELLER is definitely unique, both in its physical presentation and content. Physically, the book itself was printed lengthwise, or horizontally, as opposed to a regular book, which is printed vertically. The words within, when written in prose, are printed vertically in two columns. However, STORYTELLER is also unique in that it also contains poetry, though perhaps not in a form you are used to. Silko also included pictures, which she describes as being connected to the stories.

I was required to read sections of STORYTELLER as part of an English 200 course. It was unique in the sense that it contains many stories, which were orally passed down by the Laguna Pueblo people for generations before finally being written down. The stories were not used by the Laguna to reprimand tribe members, or teach them a lesson, but rather to give them inspiration and sometimes provide them with the origin of a particular tribe custom. The stories illustrate the concepts and beliefs of American Indians, specifically the Laguna people. I was also required to write a paper on this book tying the cultural ideas of the natives to the stories. When writing this paper, I included some concepts of the Native American people, which readers can see within the poems and stories. Here are some you can pick up in the stories contained in STORYTELLER:

1) The concept that the universe is unified, and no being or object is above another. There is no hierarchy of supernatural, natural, and humankind in Native American beliefs like there is in Western, Christian beliefs.
2) All beings have the power to create. Animate and inanimate objects are directly related to each other, and often appear one.
Read more ›
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Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller was the first of its kind--a combination of fiction, poetry, family history, oral tradition from her own and other Native American communities, photographs--woven together to create a sense of personal, cultural, feminist, and human identity. Others have adopted some of her techniques, but Storyteller ranks as a classic work of Native American and American literature--and a great read.
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Having lived on the Navajo Reservation for many years, I have seen so many strange things and witnessed many ceremonies. Unexplainable things - wonderful things - and this telling explains so much about a wonderful deep rich culture!
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By Nina on January 23, 2013
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I found these short story's very appealing. I had to purchase this book for school but I have decided to keep it for my future kids. this book is no longer in print to the best of my knowledge, so who knows what it could be worth later on. It was delivered in pretty much perfect condition and has remained so.
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Wonderful book, if nothing else, it is notable for its unique organization. It has a create approach to telling multiple stories. Some of these are personal stories, some are legends, some are stories of people Silko knew. Others are passed down through generations of her family. there are songs and poems and photographs. This is a fun read and can be read many times with new meaning found each time.
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Admittedly, Storyteller isn't for everyone. But if you're interested in Native American literature, this is amazing, powerful, and insightful. I bought this for a class, and am very glad I discovered it.
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Format: Paperback
I've been curious about what the American Indians are up to, and this book gives me an answer of sorts to my questions. The Indians are thinking about their family history, the history of their race, poetry, oral legends and folktales, and photography. The Indians are wondering what those crazy white people are up to. The Indians are trying to hustle a living and not be taken advantage of. They are trying to form stable gender identities. Indians are looking for love, sometimes in all the wrong places, and they are running scams on other Indians.

By the time I finished this book I felt I had a much better grip on what modern Indians are up to, and I wanted more. If you like Leslie Silko you might also like Sherman Alexie, a Spokane Indian who writes mostly about modern American Indian men and their issues. Read Alexie's latest book, "Blasphemy," which is about an assortment of poor and middle class Indians and a handful of white people. Between these two writers you will be exposed to a wide array of Indian lives and can see how the Indians live today. It's hard to find depictions of modern Indians; you have to really hunt for them. There is not an Indian consciousness in modern American literature. You have to turn to the Indians themselves for stories of Indian lives. I wish more people wrote about the Indians and made them more mainstream. I'm glad I came across these two writers and read their works, and with luck you too will enjoy these books!
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