Book - 2006
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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
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, c2006.
ISBN: 9780143104919
Characteristics: xxiii, 243 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

Silko’s novel follows Laguna man Tayo through the pain of returning home after serving in WWII, through alcoholism and loneliness, through grief and shell shock, and through a search for his life’s meaning in a harsh world. This novel is haunting and moving; fans of historical fiction, particular... Read More »

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Oct 02, 2018

"Indians wake up every morning of their lives to see the land which was stolen, still there, within reach, its theft being flaunted." Powerful, haunted, and complex 1977 novel set on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico. Consider reading this after Thanksgiving dinner this year. Introduction by Larry McMurtry. Also, "Fool's Crow," "Love Medicine," and "House Made of Dawn."

Mar 06, 2017

I loved this book, it was like no book I had ever experienced. Suited to those with a deep interest in understanding the trauma which affects many Indigenous people today, and how healing can take form. The first time I tried to read this I was not prepared for its advanced approach to spirituality so could only read it for the storyline, which didn't take me past the first few chapters, but when I decided to pick it up again it was perfect in every way. Truly immersing and challenging; a treasure I will always carry.

Mar 17, 2015

Sherman Alexie recommends

Library_Dragon Dec 09, 2013

Read this book for a class in college and loved it. Terrific lyrical writing. Marmon is one of my fave Native American authors, right up there with Sherman Alexie.

Dec 09, 2013

The description of this book sounded fascinating, and there are a number of themes that interested me. That being said, I didn't care about the characters, didn't find the writing compelling, and stopped reading about 25% through. I don't give up on many books.

Sep 13, 2012

This story, by an aboriginal writer, is set in the American southwest. It tells of a soldier returning from WW II who is suffering from post-traumatic stress and recovers through aboriginal spirituality. It is an excellent book; a classic.


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