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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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2,124323,084 (3.76)72
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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English (31)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Tayo is a Laguna Pueblo Indian who returns from World War II suffering from "battle fatigue." As a result (complicated by deeper things in his background), he feels alienated from tribe, family, and his own self. Threatened with being returned to the mental ward, he seeks out the ministrations of an unconventional medicine man who puts him on the path to healing.

Leslie Marmon Silko is brilliant with words and not only gives draws a sobering picture of the Native experience (mid-20th-century), but also an involving psychological portrait of a man once again coming to claim himself. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
Ceremony was a interesting book and the plot held my interest throughout. I’m not so sure that the Indian traditions and actions are accurate to all tribes, as being involved in my own culture; some of it was not in true form, that being said it was still a good. Tayo is one of those characters that you enjoy meeting and wish you could actually sit down with and have a conversation. The struggle he overcomes is amazing and in the way he himself sees things. The healing of one, which heals his community as well, is uplifting to many who will read this. It’s not one of my favorite but I am glad I read it. ( )
  denisa.howe | Feb 26, 2015 |
A part-Native American veteran returns from World War II (including a grueling period as a prisoner of war) and confronts PTSD, American racism, and internalized racial self-loathing. That sounds incredibly downbeat, but two things make this a rewarding, hopeful read. First, Silko's prose is beautiful, direct and vivid, with rich descriptions of light, landscape, and the tactile world. Second, Silko does a couple really powerful things with the structure of her narrative. Since the effect of her techniques is heightened by experiencing them raw, I'm putting my discussion of them behind a spoiler tag below. Definitely read the book first.

SPOILER: In the first half of the novel, while the protagonist Tayo is suffering most intensely from PTSD, the story keeps jumping forward and backwards in time, from the story's present, to Tayo's time in the war, to before the war, to his terrible early childhood. The lurches back and forth are disoriented in a way that echoes Tayo's own dislocation. Once Tayo begins to accept treatment at the hands of an elderly shaman, the narrative structure settles down - and then Silko does something really magical: a major portion of the story happens in a way that only makes sense - retrospectively - within a worldview that sees the spirit and the material world as constantly interconnected. Because it is only revealed later that Tayo's world has merged the spirit and the material, a reader who doesn't start with a cultural frame of seeing these worlds as overlapping can be eased into it by the narrative, and only realize after the fact that they've been gifted a double vision. To be clear, by the end of the book, Tayo doesn't have a double vision - it's not a problem for him to reconcile what he's experienced. But for a secular or materialist reader, what Silko offers is amazing: a chance to feel what it is like to experience realities that cannot be explained or interpreted in material terms, and yet are wholly true. This isn't an abstract exercise; Silko is implicitly arguing that this is how (some) authentic Native American cultures experience(d) reality, and that it offers greater harmony and well-being than the standard Euro-American materialist vision. ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Jan 22, 2015 |
Many may feel this book is disturbing, I know my son did. But I cannot help but love the way Silko creates such intense psychological consciousness in her characters. The book was a great one for me. I felt I understood like never before the real plight and sense of loss of the Native American who tries desperately to "fit" into the contemporary and dominant culture, but can never really feel they belong. I can identify with those feelings, and understand the sense of loss in spirit. This was where I first heard the idea of the "hollow" man, then later read T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Hollow Men," and the image of a "hollow man" was impressed upon me, from these two encounters with it: in Silko's book, "Ceremony" and in T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Hollow Men." But reading "Ceremondy" gives such a deeper rendition of what it means to be hollow, as Tayo, the main character learns in Silko's book.

It is a story that stays with you, years after. ( )
  socalnovelist | Jun 26, 2014 |
Many may feel this book is disturbing, I know my son did. But I cannot help but love the way Silko creates such intense psychological consciousness in her characters. The book was a great one for me. I felt I understood like never before the real plight and sense of loss of the Native American who tries desperately to "fit" into the contemporary and dominant culture, but can never really feel they belong. I can identify with those feelings, and understand the sense of loss in spirit. This was where I first heard the idea of the "hollow" man, then later read T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Hollow Men," and the image of a "hollow man" was impressed upon me, from these two encounters with it: in Silko's book, "Ceremony" and in T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Hollow Men." But reading "Ceremondy" gives such a deeper rendition of what it means to be hollow, as Tayo, the main character learns in Silko's book.

It is a story that stays with you, years after. ( )
  socalnovelist | Jun 26, 2014 |
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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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