The blogging 101 assignment today told me to use a prompt of some sort. I scrolled through the various suggestions and came up with this one.
My all time favorite author is Leslie Marmon Silko from Laguna Pueblo. Although her novel, Ceremony, is the most famous of her books, I prefer Storyteller. The title comes from the long American Indian tradition of story telling plus it is also the title of one of the short stories in the book. Storyteller contains a compilation of family photos, poems, anecdotes, and short stories, including my all time favorite short story, Yellow Woman. By now I have probably read that story at least fifty times. I jokingly refer to my occasional need to read it as getting my Yellow Woman Fix. Every time I read it, I ask myself why I love this story so much? Honestly, I have no clue, none at all. The story speaks to me in a way like no other and I cannot figure out exactly why. Perhaps some friend out there in blogging land or even a stranger may tell me. Who knows?
Another of my favorite books is Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith by Gina Nahai, an Iranian Jewish woman who now lives in California. This book reminds me of all the Latin American magical realism books I also enjoy. The heroine of this book is not an ordinary woman. For one thing, she flies. Often, I have asked myself why some Iranian novels remind me of Latin American novels and short stories. If I were to go back to graduate school to study literature, I think I would explore this further. For now, however, I simply wonder about this similarity and possible causes. For those interested in Iranian history, and more particulary about the history of the Jewish people in Iran, I always recommend Cry of the Peacock by Nahai. It traces the history of a Jewish family there for seven generations.
Other favorite authors include Julia Alvarez, Isabelle Allende, Louise Erdrich, M. Scott Momaday, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Although he is most famous for One Hundred Years of Solitude, my favorite book of Marquez’s is The General in His Labyrinth about the life and death of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of much of South America from Spanish rule.
As for poetry, Storyteller is the only book listed above that contains poetry. When I ask myself about favorite poets, I think of William Butler Yeats, Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie–who inspired one of the poems in my book, and, of course, Silko. A unique poetry book, Carver, my Marilyn Nelson gives a biography of George Washington Carver in poems. I learned a lot reading that book, especially since I am always looking for new ideas on writing poems for my own writing practice.
Finally, I hope some of those who read this respond with their favorites.