Free Reading Gardens in the Dunes By Leslie Marmon Silko –

Gardens in the Dunes A sweeping, multifaceted tale of a young Native American pulled between the cherished traditions of a heritage on the brink of extinction and an encroaching white culture, Gardens in the Dunes is the powerful story of one woman s quest to reconcile two worlds that are diametrically opposedAt the center of this struggle is Indigo, who is ripped from her tribe, the Sand Lizard people, by white soldiers who destroy her home and family Placed in a government school to learn the ways of a white child, Indigo is rescued by the kind hearted Hattie and her worldly husband, Edward, who undertake to transform this complex, spirited girl into a proper young lady Bit by bit, and through a wondrous journey that spans the European continent, traipses through the jungles of Brazil, and returns to the rich desert of Southwest America, Indigo bridges the gap between the two forces in her life and teaches her adoptive parents as much as, if not than, she learns from them

About the Author: Leslie Marmon Silko

Leslie Marmon Silko born Leslie Marmon born March 5, 1948 is a Native American writer of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, and one of the key figures in the First Wave of what literary critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.Silko was a debut recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Grant, now known as the Genius Grant , in 1981 and the Native Writers Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona from Wikipedia

10 thoughts on “Gardens in the Dunes

  1. Claire Claire says:

    2019 is becoming my year of reading Silko, this now is the second novel I ve read after Ceremony and I loved it as much, in some ways perhaps , given the journey it takes the reader on As Ceremony was the coing of age of a young man and set over a shorter period of time, Garden in the Dunes isof a historical novel, set in the late 1800 s, following the lives of two native American sisters, Indigo and Sister Salt and at various times, their Grandmother and the white woman Hattie who pr 2019 is becoming my year of reading Silko, this now is the second novel I ve read after Ceremony and I loved it as much, in some ways perhaps , given the journey it takes the reader on As Ceremony was the coing of age of a young man and set over a shorter period of time, Garden in the Dunes isof a historical novel, set in the late 1800 s, following the lives of two native American sisters, Indigo and Sister Salt and at various times, their Grandmother and the white woman Hattie who provides refuge for Indigo for a period of time after she escapes a boarding school she has been virtually imprisoned in.The novel rests in numerous locations where the girls live and must adapt, but their spiritual home and the place they always wish to return to, the place where their Sand Lizard people come from is the gardens, inland from the river, where there is natural spring and if enough rain, plentiful opportunity to grow what they need to survive.When the girls are with their Grandmother and return to the gardens they have a purpose, they learn when and how to plant, to prepare food, to stock it, to identify edible plants, they are natural foragers When they are removed from their natural home, they have to find other ways to survive.At times it has been necessary to flee, when there is insufficient rain or when pursued by authorities, who effectively kidnap Indian children, separating them from their families and way of life to put them into institutions, forcing another form of education on them The authorities judged Sister Salt to be too much older than the others to be sent away to Indian boarding school There was hope the little ones might be educated away from their blankets But this one Chances were she d be a troublemaker and might urge the young ones to attempt escape Orders were for Sister Salt to remain in custody of the Indian agency at Parker while Indigo was sent to the Sherman Institute in Riverside, California.Sister Salt is put to work in a laundry, then she and twin sisters she befriends decide to set up their own laundry service, living near a dam construction site, surviving together It s far reaching in its geographic span and in its themes, which through the storytelling are often repeated in various forms through the behaviours of multiple characters along the way Exploitation and corruption are everywhere, interfering in the way people try to live their lives, imposing their ways, trying to keep people s separate or making them conform to one perceived way.Indigo never loses the essence of who she is, despite being groomed and dressed to accompany Hattie and her prospector explorer husband, despite being taken far away to Europe, her heart is like a magnet, she never loses sight of her intention to find her sister and her mother Fortunately for her, Hattie is a sensitive and intelligent woman, who though the child brings out a maternal response and desire in her, doesn t ignore this wish and promises to help her find them.It s a brilliant depiction of so many issues around origins and identity and the ways people survive and thrive, in particular women We see how their attempts and how they are thwarted, then how they compromise and how being with other women provides them a force, even when they are from different tribes or cultures, sometimes that is a necessary element to their survival, to learn from other women, from other experiences, to share what they know.Despite it being a relatively long read, it felt like it could have gone on, some threads leave the reader wondering what happened next Big Candy and Delena, Hattie , the endings come about a little quickly It could easily have been two or three books.That said, the final page and the closing sentences are beautifully given over to nature, to a demonstration that though we may grieve at what is passing, nature will always ensure that new life prevails, that something will survive from the ruin That hope can manifest, though it may not be what we expect.ThemesWomen surviving, collaborating, working together the gardens, the laundry, Aunt BronwynExploitation, domination the dam, river, the rubber trees, flowers, orchids, citron, meteoritesOppression Judgement of authorities over Indians, of one tribe over another, of men over women, of capitalist over explorer, Spiritual, mystical, respect, ritual Hattie s thesis and its rejection by the male order, the Messiah dance, Delena and the rains, standing stones in Bath, sculptures in Lucca

  2. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    It s sad that this is the work that broke my revisiting of authors streak, but the cracks were already showing, albeit in different ways, in Humboldt s Gift and Black Reconstruction in America , and going six months or so without one taste of novelty is a bit much Out of them all, though, this is the work I would gladly see adapted, as while the textual delivery interfered too much with the ide

  3. Kathy Kathy says:

    Book Club selection I am two hundred pages into the book It is VERY descriptive While I enjoyed the first 68 pages of southwest desert description..I am now skipping paragraphs as every flower in a Long Island garden is described Because this book has been rated with four plus stars and I do want to know the fate of Indigo, the young girl, I am sticking with it I think the book would beenjoyable

  4. Kristen Suagee-beauduy Kristen Suagee-beauduy says:

    Not quite the action packed epic that is Almanac of the Dead, or the purposefully laborious Ceremony, Gardens in the Dunes is an exquisite piece of storytelling that showcase the expansiveness of Silko s intellect, the magnitude of her research skills, and the deftness with which she weaves the weft of narrators through the warp of plot Of her three novels, this one might be the spring to Almanac s


    Very, very interesting As the reader, I was taken on a long winding trail and met many characters that all came to life for me That is a difficult task, but Silko pulls it off really well I felt like I knew every person Gardens in the Dunes left me thinking about it long after the book was passed on to a friend.

  6. Annabelle Annabelle says:

    I didn t think I d like this book because I had a negative impression of Silko, who can really like McArthur genius grantees But I liked it very much It s set in the early 20th century on the banks of the Colorado River near Needles, and centers on two sisters of a almost extinct tribe Silko uses a third person point of view that is quite rich in its description of the natural world around the characte

  7. Josiah Patterson Josiah Patterson says:

    Though I ve heard many people disregard this book, considering it to be feminist chaff, I was very much enthralled with the story and the painstakingly detailed description of the world as Silko re creates it While I didn t find any male characters with much sagacity or overt charm in her novel, Silko does touch on various topics with particular grace Her discussion of women s role in religion including

  8. Sally Brock Sally Brock says:

    I d say if you re not willing to be totally immersed in this novel that you might have a tough go of it I, however love Silko s work and fully committed myself to the experience It could be circular and meandering at times, but I think all good tales are both of those things The contrasting lives of Hattie and Edward with Indigo to Sister Salt s world was paced beautifully As their respective circumstances

  9. Eli Eli says:

    A beautiful, lush book As a playwright, I struggled with the lack of dialogue, but I came to appreciate the necessity of the narrative style to the atmosphere of the story Despite the heavy tone and the sorrow that permeates the plot, this is ultimately a hopeful book and one with a message I really needed right now the Earth, and our connection to it, is what endures.

  10. Pamela Pamela says:

    It is seldom that my opinion of a book differs dramatically from that of the reviewers whose partial reviews are listed in the preamble pages of a book, but with this one is an exception This epic, set in the late 19th century, tells of the intersecting lives of a young Native American girl, Indigo, and an educated white woman, Hattie, who was a religion scholar until she was forced to leave school because of

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