73 pages 2 hours read

Leslie Marmon Silko


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1977

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Before You Read

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Super Short Summary

In Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Tayo, a young Laguna Pueblo veteran, struggles with alienation and isolation in post-WWII America, compounded by PTSD. Seeking healing, Tayo turns to traditional Laguna Pueblo legends and ceremonies. With the help of Betonie, a medicine man, and Ts’eh, a mysterious woman, Tayo embarks on a journey to reclaim stolen cattle, restore balance, and confront personal and communal traumas. This novel contains material that might be upsetting to some readers: alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, physical violence, sexual violence, torture, ableism, anti-Indigenous slurs, and anti-unhoused and anti-Indigenous biases.

Reviews & Readership

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Review Roundup

Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony intertwines Native American traditions with modern struggles, earning praise for its rich storytelling and deep cultural insights. While commendable for its lyrical prose and complex characters, some readers find its nonlinear structure challenging. Overall, it stands out as a profound exploration of identity and healing, meriting its acclaim despite its demanding narrative style.

Who should read this

Who Should Read Ceremony?

A reader who enjoys Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko is likely interested in Native American culture and post-war trauma. They may also appreciate deep, lyrical prose and complex storytelling as seen in works like Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine or Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

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