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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

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2,987503,417 (3.82)118
"This story, set on an Indian reservation just after World War II, concerns the return home of a war-weary Navaho 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 ceremny 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."--From source other than the Library of Congress… (more)
Member:James.Danzl.III
Title:Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Leslie Marmon Silko
Info:Penguin Books (2006), Edition: Anniversary, Paperback, 243 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

  1. 10
    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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» See also 118 mentions

English (49)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
I read this for my graduate course in Native American Lit., and then again for the Lit. Theory class. I wrote a paper on it for the Lit. Theory class. Yet, it was so long ago, I'd have to look up the file to see what I actually wrote, something dealing with icons in the novel according to my journal. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Indian returns from drunkeness to the ways of the people, interwoven with legends qnd ceremonies of the Pueblo
  ritaer | May 27, 2020 |
It took me a while to get to Ceremony but I'm sorry it did, really a fantastic read. I enjoyed Silko's use of folklore and poetry in the text and even points where the narrative bleeds into the poetic form embodies the idea that these stories are all living and interconnected. Her vision of the Southwest is as magnificent and grand and scope as Cormac McCarthy although this is not a place where violence solves problems only exacerbates them and true strength comes with embracing life. I will say I would've liked to have seen the disjointed narrative that was so seamlessly constructed at the outset of the novel continue, it smoothes out and becomes less dislocating as Tayo heals but it also loses an experimental edge that I very much enjoyed and what drew me into the first half of the novel. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Of mixed Native and white ancestry, Tayo has never felt welcome among either community. Now, having been a POW and seeing his closest friend die amid the horrors of war, he has returned from World War II understandably troubled and broken. His family doesn't know what to do with him and are afraid he will end up in the hospital again, and his friends, many of whom had similar wartime experiences, don't understand why he can't just drink away his demons the way they can.

I am hopeful that this is the type of work that becomes more cohesive in the mind of the reader on the second reading. I felt I was not getting as much out of it as I should have given its elevated reputation in the literary world, and also that I may not have fully understood what was occurring (or occurring between the lines) in a few of the scenes. Regardless, it left me with mixed feelings of melancholy and consternation. ( )
  ryner | Mar 11, 2020 |
“Everywhere he looked, he saw a world made of stories, the long ago, time immemorial stories...It was a world alive, always changing and moving; and if you knew where to look, you could see it, sometimes imperceptible, like the motion of the stars across the sky.”

“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.”

In the years, immediately after WWII, we are introduced to Tayo, a young Native American, who fought as a Marine in the Pacific and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He returns to his Pueblo reservation, as a shattered man and the novel is about Tayo's long, slow climb out of his own wreckage, using witchcraft and other traditional means to reach this difficult goal.
This is not an easy read. Watching these characters wallow in their suffering and alcohol abuse, can be painful but the narrative brightens as Tayo pulls out of his tailspin and begins to live again and appreciate the loved ones, who have supported him, through his trials. The writing grows stronger as the novel progresses, rewarding the reader, for hanging in there. This will not be for all tastes, but I can appreciate it's lofty position in Native American literature. ( )
  msf59 | Oct 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated to my grandmothers, Jessie Goddard Leslie and Lillie Stagner Marmon, and to my sons, Robert William Chapman and Cazimir Silko

Thanks to the Rosewater Foundation-on-Ketchikan Creek, Alaska, for the artist's residence they generously provided. Thanks also to the National Endowment for the Arts and the 1974 Writing Fellowship.

John and Mei-Mei: My love and my thanks to you for keeping me going all the time.
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Ts'its'tsi'nako, Thought-Woman
is sitting in her room
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"This story, set on an Indian reservation just after World War II, concerns the return home of a war-weary Navaho 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 ceremny 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."--From source other than the Library of Congress

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