Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony was a struggle. It’s hard to explain why. As I was reading the novel, I could appreciate that the text was beautifully written, but I could not emotionally connect to the characters or situations. Objectively, the novel is significant and well-written. I understand the importance of Silko’s work and the need to promote/read Native American literature. The story is also deeply interesting. Tayo, a WWII veteran, is suffering from PTSD. Tayo eventually heals, but only after many trials and difficult situations. His recovery is aided almost entirely by his interactions with nature.
In Ceremony, Silko is deeply concerned with environmental issues. Silko discusses the importance of the environment, and the destructive nature of humans. While this aspect of the novel was already familiar to me (I’m adequately acquainted with environmental issues), I was deeply touched by the manner in which her argument was presented. If you are interested in environmental issues, I would definitely check out this novel.
Overall, Ceremony is an important novel about PTSD, the environment, and Native American culture. I could not personally engage with this novel, but it is considered one of the most important works of Native American literature. Maybe I’ll just have to read it again, and see if a change of mood/scenery improves my reading experience.