Friday, December 31, 2010

10 in '10-Reading New Mexico

The Pueblo Imagination: Landscape & Memory in the Photography of Lee Marmon with writings by Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo, & Simon Ortiz This is a lovely book, featuring primarily the photographs of Lee Marmon (father of Leslie Marmon Silko), but interspersed with essays by Silko & poetry & prose by Simon Ortiz & Joy Harjo. Most of the photographs are black & white & were taken in the Laguna & Acoma Pueblos. These photographs, many of people, paint an evocative picture of pueblo life from the 1940s-90s. Marmon's landscape photography is also very beautiful. The book begins with a "Photographer's Statement" by Lee Marmon (almost a short autobiographical essay), followed by a "Preface" by Leslie Marmon Silko which helps to set the scene. Silko's essay "Rain" is next-the longest piece of writing in the book. "Rain" talks about many Native American tales, with characters such as Corn Woman & the Twin Brothers. The short pieces by Ortiz & Harjo make up the rest of the writing in the book. Part memory, part poetry, these pieces seem to speak to & about the photographs they face. All in all, a very special introduction to the Native American culture in New Mexico.

& now, a special guest post from Alysa to round out our 10 in '10 reads! Confessions of A Berlitz-Tape Chicana by Demetria Martínez This book is a memoir and social commentary that explores issues of cultural identity, female beauty and spirituality. Martínez’s essays are short but powerful reflections of her personal experiences and opinions on social justice issues. Confessions is an inspiring read for activists, women and students. Check out this book! Finished just under the wire! Check out our complete 10 in '10 reviews here.

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