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Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)…
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Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (original 1977; edition 2006)

by Leslie Marmon Silko, Larry McMurtry (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,963None3,444 (3.76)63
Member:markwinston
Title:Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Leslie Marmon Silko
Other authors:Larry McMurtry (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Books (2006), Edition: Anniversary, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

  1. 00
    The Round House by Louise Erdrich (inge87)
  2. 00
    No-No Boy by John Okada (weener)
    weener: About coming to terms with the aftermath of war.
  3. 00
    Nickel and Dime by Gary Soto (weener)
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» See also 63 mentions

English (25)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
rabck from eponine38; Fiction, but reads as a true story. Tayo, a young Indian, was a Japanese POW during WWII. Now returning back to the reservation after the war, after being treated as a first class soldier during the war, he's trying to fit back into the second class citizen mould that the Whites who were his peers during the was, force the Indians into. In addition, his cousin Rocky, who the family pinned all there hopes on, was killed in the war, and he feels that he let the family down by him living and Rocky dying. Add battle fatigue (now called PTSD), his friends unable to cope except by getting drunk and rabble rousing, and he's losing himself. With the help of a medicine man, and by steeping himself in the old ways, he finally finds healing. A lovely read with lots of prayers and insights into the Indian spiritual way. This will continue on as a "C" book ring book. ( )
  nancynova | Mar 18, 2014 |
Audiobook....A powerful story about the power of personal and cultural story in preserving and healing the spirit. The structure reflects the dream/nightmare experience of the protagonist, a Native American returning from war. I let myself submerge in the narrative and was pulled along, experiencing a wide range of emotion on the journey. Marvelous read! ( )
  hemlokgang | May 16, 2013 |
Beautiful language and obviously an important book. I'm sorry it took me so long to get around to it. The spiritual deus ex machina taking up the last 1/3 of the book is a letdown, but I realize that this is a personal preference. Well worth reading. ( )
  idyll | Apr 9, 2013 |
"Here they were, trying to bring back that old feeling, that feeling they belonged to America the way they felt during the war. They blamed themselves for losing the new feeling; they never talked about it, but they blamed themselves just like they blamed themselves for losing the land the white people took. They never thought to blame white people for any of it; they wanted white people for their friends. They never saw that it was the white people who gave them that feeling and it was white people who took it away again."

"Then they grow away from the earth/then they grow away from the sun/then they grow away from the plants and animals./They see no life/When they look/they see only objects./The world is a dead thing for them/the trees and rivers are not alive/the mountains and stones are not alive./The deer and bear are objects/they see no life."

"Every day they had to look at the land, from horizon to horizon, and every day the loss was with them; it was the dead unburied, and the mourning of the lost going on forever. So they tried to sink the loss in booze, and silence their grief with war stories about their courage, defending the land they had already lost."

"He wanted to scream at Indians like Harley and Helen Jean and Emo that the white things they admired and desired so much - the bright city lights and loud music, the soft sweet food and the cars - all these things had been stolen, torn out of Indian land: raw living materials for their ck'o'yo manipulation. The people had been taught to despise themselves because they were left with barren land and dry rivers. But they were wrong. It was the white people who had nothing; it was the white people who were suffering as thieves do, never able to forget that their pride was wrapped in something stolen, something that had never been, and could never be, theirs." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Tayo has survived his beginnings as an outcast of both white and Native American society, only to be sent off to fight a war that he can't hope to survive intact. As his childhood, war memories and ceremonial present come to the fore, Tayo must make a journey to bring the rain back to the land.

This is one of the novels I was assigned for American Literature. It's filled with figurative language (images & symbols) and a really heart rending story. The beginning is quite confusing and the time changes irritating, but eventually you get used to Silko's style.

I found it to be a really rich spiritual journey, one that is so nicely articulated and accessible even for me, a white Australian! I felt quite moved after I had finished reading it, and immediately had to write down some of my impressions for my essay writing.

One of the main things I took away from this novel is that we must all be responsible for our own actions. That's what Tayo must come to terms with (and does, with Harley's death) in order to deal with Rocky's death (which Tayo feels responsible for.

I only wish I felt the same sort of connection to the land and the family that Tayo does. I probably wouldn't reread this novel, but it certainly gave me some things to think about once I had finished reading it. Even if you're a bit nary of American Literature, if you need to choose something to read you should choose this one over Tender is the Night or Daisy Miller (both of which I also read for this unit). ( )
  Rosemarie.Herbert | Mar 16, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140086838, Paperback)

Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution.

Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremny that defeats the most virulent of afflictions—despair.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This story, set on an Indian reservation just after World War II, concerns the return home of a war-weary Laguna Pueblo young man. Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution. Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremony that defeats the most virulent of afflictions-despair. "Demanding but confident and beautifully written" (Boston Globe), this is the story of a young Native American returning to his reservation after surviving the horrors of captivity as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Drawn to his Indian past and its traditions, his search for comfort and resolution becomes a ritual--a curative ceremony that defeats his despair.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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