Yellow Woman Essay

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In the following excerpt from a longer essay, Lappas discusses Silko's collection Storyteller as a "polyphonic" autobiography, one that seeks to tell the story of not just one person, but also that person's community and historical traditions.

Silko was born in 1948 of Laguna-Mexican-Anglo ancestry. Her work Storyteller was originally conceived not as an autobiography at all but as a multigenre form including poems, traditional tales, expository pieces on Laguna tradition, letters, even photographs. It was, in effect, an attempt to record an oral tradition that was in fear of disappearing, for, as Silko explains, "an entire history/an entire vision of the world" depended "upon memory/and retelling by subsequent generations." Such emphasis on community is not unusual coming from a person who is concerned primarily with relationships; after all, "that's all there really is."

"Polyphonic" autobiography, as Arnold Krupat and others have suggested, for many indigenous people...

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This section contains 610 words
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Buy the Yellow Woman Study Guide
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