Almanac of the Dead

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9780140173192: Almanac of the Dead

“To read this book is to hear the voices of the ancestors and spirits telling us where we came from, who we are, and where we must go.”—Maxine Hong Kingston

In its extraordinary range of character and culture, Almanac of the Dead is fiction on the grand scale. The acclaimed author of Ceremony has undertaken a weaving of ideas and lives, fate and history, passion and conquest in an attempt to re-create the moral history of the Americas, told from the point of view of the conquered, not the conquerors.

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About the Author:

Leslie Marmon Silko was born in 1948 to a family whose ancestry includes Mexican, Laguna Indian, and European forebears. She has said that her writing has at its core “the attempt to identify what it is to be a half-breed or mixed-blood person.” As she grew up on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, she learned the stories and culture of the Laguna people from her great-grandmother and other female relatives. After receiving her B. A. in English at the University of New Mexico, she enrolled in the University of New Mexico law school but completed only three semesters before deciding that writing and storytelling, not law, were the means by which she could best promote justice. She married John Silko in 1970. Prior to the writing of Ceremony, she published a series of short stories, including “The Man to Send Rain Clouds.” She also authored a volume of poetry, Laguna Woman: Poems, for which she received the Pushcart Prize for Poetry.

In 1973, Silko moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, where she wrote Ceremony. Initially conceived as a comic story abut a mother’s attempts to keep her son, a war veteran, away from alcohol, Ceremony gradually transformed into an intricate meditation on mental disturbance, despair, and the power of stories and traditional culture as the keys to self-awareness and, eventually, emotional healing. Having battled depression herself while composing her novel, Silko was later to call her book “a ceremony for staying sane.” Silko has followed the critical success of Ceremony with a series of other novels, including Storyteller, Almanac for the Dead, and Gardens in the Dunes. Nevertheless, it was the singular achievement of Ceremony that first secured her a place among the first rank of Native American novelists. Leslie Marmon Silko now lives on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A dense and occasionally dazzling saga from poet-novelist Silko (Ceremony, 1977; Storyteller, 1981), who draws on the fullness of her Laguna-Anglo-Latino heritage in the kaleidoscopic view of drug-dealing, revolution, and ancient prophecies north and south of the border. Silko's story is centered in Tucson, where two elderly sisters occupy their fortified ranch--together with a motley crew of vicious dogs and desperadoes; a coke addict and ex-exotic dancer recovering from the abduction of her child; and a Laguna loner, whose failure to keep a Hollywood crew from defiling a newly discovered stone serpent on tribal land forced him into exile. In a dizzying montage, each of their stories mingles with others involving revolt in Mexico and Central America, as the native population rises up against hated European and mestizo masters--the rebels led by revolutionaries and visionaries communicating with the spirit world through red macaws--and with tales of a massive, well-organized drug-smuggling ring operated with blessings from Tucson and border police, the local judiciary, and especially the CIA. A vast underworld of covert operations and interlocking conspiracies surfaces in all its grim glory, replete with violence, violation, and sex of every imaginable variety (even the judge coupling with his beagles), while one of the sisters deciphers the remaining fragments of the Aztec almanac entrusted to her as a last duty to her ancestors. Fantastic and colorful in the fine details, even if belabored and unwieldy as a whole. All in all: a chillingly dark vision of corruption, despair, and chaos in the Americas, where a native new world order appears ready to begin. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. To read this book is to hear the voices of the ancestors and spirits telling us where we came from, who we are, and where we must go. --Maxine Hong Kingston In its extraordinary range of character and culture, Almanac of the Dead is fiction on the grand scale. The acclaimed author of Ceremony has undertaken a weaving of ideas and lives, fate and history, passion and conquest in an attempt to re-create the moral history of the Americas, told from the point of view of the conquered, not the conquerors. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140173192

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