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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)

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2,231372,882 (3.76)73
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

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Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

  1. 00
    No-No Boy by John Okada (weener)
    weener: About coming to terms with the aftermath of war.
  2. 00
    Nickel and Dime by Gary Soto (weener)
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English (36)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
First off, two stars means that it was ok-- not terrible and not earth-shattering. I simply could not get to Tayo as a central character. I would have liked to read more about him than what was offered. Tayo, to me, didn't seem completely developed. I found Josiah and Betonie more compelling and wish they would have been explained more into Tayo's narrative. I didn't have any issues with the physical layout of the book-- i.e. no chapter demarcations, etc. Blurring the lines of a conventional, linear story is nothing particularly new and Silko did an good job in that respect. What I would have liked to see more developed in Tayo is his coming to terms with his 'whiteness'. Throughout the story it was very apparent Tayo was marginalized because of his 'whiteness'. I felt that he never came to terms with this aspect of himself; rather he re-integrated completely back into a culture that didn't fully accept him. So it seemed to me Tayo's heritage was still skewed and not resolved-- whatever Tayo's resolution may have looked like. Perhaps that is part of the Silko's own narrative-- there are aspects of ourselves that sometimes we just can't fully integrate within ourselves. Still, I would have liked to see a little more from the story about Tayo's position.
I also felt like the story behind Tayo's mother was never really developed either. Silko makes it clear that she was promiscuous and had an affinity for white men. Other than a general idea we have no other context in which to place Tayo's mother.
Ceremony seemed to have a few superfluous characters as well-- Pinkie for one. We know that Pinkie is a childhood friend of Tayo and drinks a lot with Emo, Leroy and Harley; here again it seemed like there wasn't a context for Pinkie other than the drunken 'friend'.
I simply could not connect with the characters of Ceremony in the way I could with Susan Power's Grass Dancer, or Simon Ortiz' from Sand Creek, or Louise Erdrich's Tracks. ( )
  Jazmsngr | Mar 25, 2016 |
I'm going to be thinking about this novel for a long time. I don't understand its power. I'm not sure how it works. The same actions and perceptions, throughout the novel, can be taken as signs of mental illness, or signs of mental clarity. Time sequence is broken over and over again in the novel, and yet the movement of the story from beginning to end feels as propulsive and climactic as any linear story. The language feels simple and declarative at first, until I realize that it's highly elevated, to the extent that it resembles poetry--and then it becomes actual poetry on the page. Characters seem simultaneously real and mythological. There are no sharp edges between the characters, either--rather than having any sense of autonomous 'self' they are defined instead by their relationship to one another. What is real and not-real is likewise not sharply defined. Dream bleeds into memory into a fictive reality and back into dream. I didn't feel this novel was written to explain something to me. I felt instead that Silko wrote exactly and uniquely to her purpose. She wrote something entirely new. I've never read anything like it. ( )
  poingu | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was fantastic writing with layers of symbolism and discovery. The cultural elements had fascinating ties to the ideas being presented. And it involves Native American cultures in the southwest...right up my alley! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was fantastic writing with layers of symbolism and discovery. The cultural elements had fascinating ties to the ideas being presented. And it involves Native American cultures in the southwest...right up my alley! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
-such gorgeous imagery, reminiscent of Woolf, all the while we watch a man's spirit torn asunder and rebuilt. Filled with the hopes and dreams, failures and temptations of a generation of Native Americans, Ceremony is truly a classic of modern Amer ( )
  VladVerano | Oct 20, 2015 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:17 -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)

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