We will read Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of The Dead, which takes place against the backdrop of the American Southwest and Central America. It follows dozens of characters. Much of the story takes place in the present day, although lengthy flashbacks and indigenous mythology interweave throughout. The novel’s numerous characters are often separated by both time and space. Many of characters are involved in either crime or revolution.
Leslie Marmon Silko was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Silko has noted herself as being one-quarter Laguna Pueblo (a Keres speaking tribe), also identifying as Anglo American and Mexican American. Silko grew up on the edge of pueblo society at the edge of the Laguna Pueblo reservation. While her parents worked, Silko and her two sisters were cared for by their grandmother, Lillie Stagner, and great-grandmother, Helen Romero, both story tellers. Silko learned much of the traditional stories of the Laguna people from her grandmother, whom she called A’mooh, her aunt Susie, and her grandfather Hank during her early years.
The Indigenous Peoples’s Reading Group has grown from the enthusiastic call for the need of greater understanding of the long history of the peoples of North America who were here before and remain after the European colonists came to settle and bring this hemisphere and those peoples under their control and exploitation, following a stirring presentation by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz this past September introducing An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.