“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko (USA)


Although readers struggled with the non-linear narrative to begin with, they quickly got into the story and were immersed in it. They warmed to the protagonist and liked the diversity of other characters: from his family members to the medicine men; from his childhood friends to his lovers. Readers liked the writing style with its mix of prose and poetry, and some read the poems more slowly to better understand what they were bringing to the narrative. They were moved by the many powerful passages about the clash between cultures and its destructiveness, and they agreed that the story’s themes still resonated with them today. Overall, it averaged a 9 out of 10, a high score to start off the season!


Tayo, a young Second World War veteran of mixed ancestry, is coming home. But, returning to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, he finds himself scarred by his experiences as a prisoner of war, and further wounded by the rejection he finds among his own people… Read more


If the white people never looked beyond the lie, to see that theirs was a nation built on stolen land, then they would never be able to understand how they had been used by the witchery; they would never know that they were still being manipulated by those who knew how to stir the ingredients together: white thievery and injustice boiling up the anger and hatred that would finally destroy the world: the starving against the fat, the colored against the white. The destroyers had only to set it into motion, and sit back to count the casualties. But it was more than a body count; the lies devoured white hearts, and for more than two hundred years white people had worked to fill their emptiness; they tried to glut the hollowness with patriotic wars and with great technology and the wealth it brought. And always they had been fooling themselves, and they knew it.

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 23 – “Myth and the Magical” (Dec 2022 – May 2023)
“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko (USA) *
“Man Tiger” by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia)
“The Island” by Ana María Matute (Spain)
“The Society of Reluctant Dreamers” by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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