Study Guide

Sacred Water

by Leslie Marmon Silko

Sacred Water Summary

Summary (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Leslie Marmon Silko’s commitment to shared husbandry of the land of the Southwest is perhaps nowhere better and more simply articulated than in this privately published, limited edition collection of prose poems and photography. Silko incorporates her family traditions in photography to create a multimedia text. The black-and-white pictorial images of water, clouds, mountains, rocks, reptiles, and flora nicely accompany the written text, which shows Silko’s understanding of the importance of water in terms of sustenance, ecological balance, and religious practice.

Sacred Water Bibliography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Aithal, S. K. “American Ethnic Fiction in the Universal Context.” American Studies International 21 (October, 1983): 61-66.

Antell, J. A. “Momaday, Welch, and Silko: Expressing the Feminine Principle Through Male Alienation.” American Indian Quarterly 12 (Summer, 1988): 213-220.

Chavkin, Allan, ed. Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony”: A Casebook. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Danielson, Linda. “The Storytellers in Storyteller.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 5, no. 1 (1989): 21-31.

Dunsmore, Roger. “No Boundaries: On Silko’s Ceremony.” In Earth’s Mind: Essays in Native Literature. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997.

Garcia, Reyes. “Senses of Place in Ceremony.” MELUS 10 (Winter, 1983): 37-48.

Hirsh, B. A. “The Telling Which Continues: Oral Tradition and the Written Word in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller.” American Indian Quarterly 12 (Winter, 1988): 1-26.

Jahner, Elaine. “Leslie Marmon Silko.” In Handbook of Native American Literature, edited by Andrew Wiget. New York: Garland, 1996.

Lincoln, Kenneth. “Grandmother Storyteller: Leslie Silko.” In Native American Renaissance. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Nelson, Robert M. “Rewriting Ethnography: The Embedded Texts in Leslie Silko’s Ceremony.” In Telling the Stories: Essays on American Indian Literatures and Cultures. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.

Sax, Richard. “One World, Many Tribes: Crosscultural Influences in Silko’s Almanac of the Dead.” In Celebration of Indigenous Thought and Expression. Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.: Lake Superior State University Press, 1996.