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Leslie Marmon Silko

  • You don't have anything / if you don't have the stories.

  • It's only a matter of time, Indian / you can't sleep with the river forever.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • "Indian Song: Survival," Storyteller ()
  • ... the snow ... came in thick tufts like new wool — washed before the weaver spins it.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • "Lullaby," Storyteller ()
  • She was an old woman now, and her life had become memories.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • "Lullaby," Storyteller ()
  • Anybody can act violently — there is nothing to it; but not every person is able to destroy his enemy with words.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • "A Geronimo Story," Storyteller ()
  • But sometimes what we call 'memory' and what we call 'imagination' are not so easily distinguished.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • introduction, Storyteller ()
  • The story was the important thing and little changes here and there were really part of the story. There were even stories about the different versions of stories and how they imagined the differing versions came to be.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • introduction, Storyteller ()
  • The American public has difficulty believing ... [that] injustice continues to be inflicted upon Indian people because Americans assume that the sympathy and tolerance they feel toward Indians is somehow 'felt' or transferred to the government policy that deals with Indians. This is not the case.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • in Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., Now That the Buffalo's Gone: A Study of Today's American Indians ()
  • At Laguna, when someone dies, you don't 'get over it' by forgetting; you 'get over it' by remembering, and by remembering you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our lives and loved us, as we have loved them.

  • ... the ancient people perceived the world and themselves within that world as part of an ancient continuous story composed of innumerable bundles of other stories.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • in Lorraine Anderson, ed., Sisters of the Earth ()
  • I don't make outlines or plans because whenever I do, they turn out to be useless. It is as if I am compelled to violate the scope of any outline or plan; it is as if the writing does not want me to know what is about to happen.

  • ... relationships. That's all there really is. There's your relationship with the dust that just blew in your face, or with the person who just kicked you end over end. ... You have to come to terms, to some kind of equilibrium, with those people around you, those people who care for you, your environment.

    • Leslie Marmon Silko,
    • in Ellen L. Arnold, Conversations With Leslie Marmon Silko ()

Leslie Marmon Silko, Laguna Pueblo-U.S. writer, poet

(1948)