Storyteller (Silko book)

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Storyteller, Cover Art, Leslie Marmon Silko.jpg
Author Leslie Marmon Silko
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fiction
Publisher Arcade Publishing
Publication date
Media type Paperback
Pages 278
ISBN 155970005X
Followed by Almanac of the Dead (1991)

Storyteller is a hybrid collection of poetry, short stories and family photographs compiled by Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko. It was first published in 1981 following the literary success of the novel Ceremony.


Storyteller is a collection of short stories influenced by Silko's family crafted from tribal traditions and the oral tradition. The works in Storyteller are often accompanied by photographs taken by the author or from her family collection from the area surrounding Laguna Pueblo where Silko grew up.

Poetry is also heavily featured in the book also featuring photographic media by the author.

Silko's most commonly anthologized stories from Storyteller are "Yellow Woman", "Lullaby" and "Tony's Story". It is one of her best-known works, alongside Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead.

The format and writing style featured in Storyteller would influence some of Silko's later works such as "Sacred Water" (1993) and "Rain" (1997).

Critical studies[edit]

Storyteller has received several critical studies including:

  • Leslie Marmon Silko: A Collection of Critical Essays by Louise K. Barnett, James L. Thorson. See the articles by Linda Krumholz ("Native Designs: Silko's Storyteller and the Reader's Initiation"), Helen Jaskoski ("To Tell a Good Story"), and Elizabeth McHenry ("Spinning a Fiction of Culture: Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller").
  • See chapter 1 of Learning to Write "Indian": The Boarding-School Experience and American Indian Literature by Amelia V. Katanski.
  • "'The Way I Heard It': Autobiography, Tricksters, and Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Domina, Lynn; Studies in American Indian Literatures', 2007 Fall; 19 (3): 45-67.
  • "Storyteller: Leslie Marmon Silko's Reapproriation of Native American History and Identity." By: Carsten, Cynthia; Wicazo Sa Review, 2006 Fall; 21 (2): 105-26.
  • "Improvisations on the Genre: Maxine Hong Kingston's and Leslie Marmon Silko's (Auto)Biographical Writings." By: Ziarkowska, Joanna; Americana: E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary, 2006 Spring; 2 (1): [no pagination].
  • "Narrative Power in Native American Fiction: Reflections on Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller (1981)." By: Johansen, Ib; p.o.v: A Danish Journal of Film Studies, 2004 Dec; 18: 78-88.
  • "American Indian Literature and Eco-Vision: A Case Study of Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Kang, Ja Mo; Journal of English Language and Literature/Yongo Yongmunhak, 2001; 47 (2): 527-48.
  • "The Silence of the Bears: Leslie Marmon Silko's Writerly Act of Spiritual Storytelling." By: Fitz, Brewster E.. IN: Iftekharrudin, Boyden, Rohrberger, and Claudet, The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues. Westport, CT: Praeger; 2003. pp. 77–85.
  • "Legal Hunger: Law, Narrative, and Orality in Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller and Almanac of the Dead." By: Karno, Valerie; College Literature, 2001 Winter; 28 (1): 29-45.
  • "Death and the Power of Words in Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Pellérin, Simone. IN: Castillo and Da Rosa, Native American Women in Literature and Culture. Porto, Portugal: Fernando Pessoa UP; 1997. pp. 119–26.
  • "Storyteller: Revising the Narrative Schematic." By: Hernandez, Dharma Thornton; Pacific Coast Philology, 1996; 31 (1): 54-67.
  • "Mother-Daughter Relationships as Epistemological Structures: Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead and Storyteller." By: Evans, Charlene Taylor. IN: Brown-Guillory, Elizabeth (ed.) Women of Color: Mother-Daughter Relationships in 20th Century Literature. Austin: U of Texas P; 1996. pp. 172–87.
  • "Laughing, Crying, Surviving: The Pragmatic Politics of Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Browdy de Hernandez, Jennifer; A/B: Auto/Biography Studies, 1994 Spring; 9 (1): 18-42.
  • "'To Understand This World Differently': Reading and Subversion in Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Krumholz, Linda J.; ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, 1994 Jan; 25 (1): 89-113.
  • "Storyteller as Hopi Basket." By: Langen, Toby C. S.; Studies in American Indian Literatures: The Journal of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures, 1993 Spring; 5 (1): 7-24.
  • "The Web of Meaning: Naming the Absent Mother in Storyteller." By: Jones, Patricia. IN: Graulich, Melody (ed.) Leslie Marmon Silko, "Yellow Woman". New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP; 1993. pp. 213–32.
  • "The Other Story of Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Lorenz, Paul H.; South Central Review, 1991 Winter; 8 (4): 59-75.
  • "The Dialogic of Silko's Storyteller." By: Krupat, Arnold. IN: Vizenor, Gerald (ed.) Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P; 1989. pp. 55–68.
  • "Yellow Woman, Old and New: Oral Tradition and Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Thompson, Joan; The Wicazo SA Review, 1989 Fall; 5 (2): 22-25.
  • "'The telling which continues': Oral Tradition and the Written Word in Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller." By: Hirsch, Bernard A.; American Indian Quarterly, 1988 Winter; 12 (1): 1-26.