How do Almanac of the Dead and the Undone series connect? What themes do they share?

Both Almanac of the Dead and the Undone series experiment with the concept and usage of time. For the former, readers experience flashbacks, and in the latter case, Alma is actually able to move beyond the constraints of linear time. Both works also include themes of perception and youth.

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Almanac of the Dead is a novel by Leslie Marmon Silko that was first published in 1991, while Undone is a streaming series on Amazon that premiered in 2019. As different as these two dramatic works are in both tone, style, and medium, they share much in terms of theme.

Both stories eschew the normative constructs of time and space. In Almanac of the Dead, the reader is abruptly displaced from one scenario to another and routinely jumps from the present to the past during long flashbacks. Similarly, the main character of Undone, Alma, emerges from a near-death experience to learn she now has a flexible relationship with reality, traversing different times and places in an effort to change her fortunes.

In addition, both stories are adept at demonstrating the subjective nature of perception. In the Undone series, it's Alma's muffled hearing when she removes her cochlear implant and the way she turns her mundane environment into some new dynamic world. For Silko, it's the reimagining of colonialism in the American Southwest and the lens of violence through which many characters perceive the world around them based on their experiences.

Lastly, both stories firmly entrench young characters at the heart of their stories, in some ways making youthfulness a corollary to idealism, bravery, and survival. Alma's quest to use her time-traveling skills to rewrite her father's fate is an exercise not just in bravery but youthful sanguinity. Similarly, Silko portrays the youth of the Yaqui and Apache tribes as critical to colonial resistance movements.

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