In 1900 the West was still wild. Anglo-Americans were tearing up the countryside in the name of progress, and pity the Indians who stood in the way. To this canvas Leslie Marmon Silko, author of such well-received novels as Almanac of the Dead
, brings her brush. Gardens in the Dunes
begins and ends at a hidden garden near the Colorado River on the California-Arizona border. But Silko covers ground that includes the early stages of women's rights, emerging female sexuality, the rape of the Amazon, early quack medicine, Gnostic mysteries, Celtic magic, and flower husbandry. Her palette has many colors, but everywhere the garden is a central theme.
Grandmother Fleet, one of the few remaining Sand Lizard Indians, tends a traditional desert garden while teaching the old ways to her granddaughters Sister Salt and Indigo. At a time of crushing hopelessness, Wovoka's Ghost Dance messianic movement appears, drawing in the girls and Grandmother Fleet:
While the others danced with eyes focussed on the fire, Indigo watched the weird shadows play on the hillsides, so she was one of the first to see the Messiah and his family as they stepped out of darkness into the glow of swirling snowflakes. How their white robes shined!
Indigo is also one of the first to sense the approach of soldiers and Indian police bent on breaking up the gathering. The action then moves her from the secret garden and small family to an Indian school in Riverside. She eventually flees the school and ends up traveling through Europe with an aristocratic Victorian family, as companion to an unmarried woman. Despite her many adventures and her exposure to a life of privilege and luxury, Indigo never loses her affinity for the traditions of her own people. Silko uses this novel to explore contrasts between Native American and European customs and morals--with white culture often coming up short. On occasion this ambitious novel strays into the political proper, but there's no denying the sheer force of Silko's prose and the sweep of her story. Gardens in the Dunes
offers both a vivid portrait of 19th-century Native American life and a provocative exploration of disparate cultures' relationships to the world around them --Schuyler Ingle
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Suzanne Ruta The New York Times Book Review
Rich, intriguing...a mix of myth, allegory, Victorian children's tale, and adventure yarn, laced with readings in Southwest history.The Boston Globe
Confident and beautifully written.
Melissa Levine San Francisco Chronicle
Like Gabriel García Márquez, but more accurately reminiscent of Joseph Conrad...a rich descendant well worth reading.
Irene Warner The Seattle Times Book Review
Rich, generous, funny, and ambitious, thought provoking and rewarding.
Nadya Labi Time
Silko has crafted a dreamlike tale out of one of the ugliest realities in American history.
Therese Stanton Ms.
The historical, geographical, and emotional scope of this sprawling novel is breathtaking. Silko tells and retells the stories of multicultural America and weaves them into the "master" narrative of American history.
Philip Connors Newsday
A tender, evocative tale.
Alexs Pate Minneapolis Star-Tribune
You can depend on Leslie Marmon Silko to seduce and captivate you with her considerable literary powers. Her dreamlike narratives deliver amazing truths. With Gardens in the Dunes,
Silko has crafted a book about faith in the old ways, in the natural ways of life, about the significance of a family and a girl's indomitable spirit.
Denise Low The Kansas City Star
Silko writes descriptions as lush as rose petals. A cosmopolitan, spellbinding narrative.
David A. Walton San Jose Mercury News
Silko's appeal is her ability to transcend with her story the obvious ethnic, feminist, and ecological messages so deeply embedded in her material....[Her] fiction is rooted in the real world and conveys the eternal messages of story land: love won and lost, separation and reunion, a child's growth and arrival into adulthood.