As American Indian writers frequently remind their readers, storytellers wield formidable power to affect the earth and its inhabitants. This power is the same medicine power that inheres in tribal expression such as chants, prayers, and ceremonial rituals. Leslie Marmon Silko, critics point out, modifies literary genres to create the most effective medicine power. When Silko's Storyteller first appeared in 1981, critics were baffled by this complex text. Today it is a canonical work in the study of American Indian literature. The essays collected in this book, addressing both the original edition of Storyteller and the 2012 revision, use the growth in understanding of Native American literature in general and of Silko's work in particular to unpack this fascinating work and its critical reception over the years.
Catherine Rainwater is a professor of English in the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She is also the author of Dreams of Fiery Stars: The Transformations of Native American Fiction and the coeditor of two books, Contemporary American Women Writers: Narrative Strategies and Figuring Animals: Essays on Animal Images in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Popular Culture.
"Rainwater's volume weaves together the diverse directions of Silko scholarship into a unique and intellectually rewarding whole. . . . An essential read."--Native American and Indigenous Studies
"All readers of Silko's classic Storyteller, whether they are scholars, teachers, or general readers, will welcome these elegantly written and highly informative essays that bring us up-to-date with the latest approaches to Silko's literary achievement. Catherine Rainwater's introduction is exemplary in her comprehensive account of scholarship about Storyteller and the insights to be had from these outstanding original essays."--Deborah Madsen, editor of The Poetry and Poetics of Gerald Vizenor
"Critics have neglected the 2012 revised edition of Storyteller. Informative and sophisticated, this timely volume presents an impressive array of essays on Silko's complex book with its artful juxtapositions of stories and photographs. This fine collection of essays will prompt a broader discussion than previously seen about Silko's creative process."--Allan Chavkin, editor of Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony: A Casebook