Gardens in Ihe Dunes (Paperback)

By Leslie Marmon Silko

Simon & Schuster, 9780684863320, 480pp.

Publication Date: April 13, 2000



A sweeping, multifaceted tale of a young Native American pulled between the cherished traditions of a heritage on the brink of extinction and an encroaching white culture, Gardens in the Dunes is the powerful story of one woman's quest to reconcile two worlds that are diametrically opposed.

At the center of this struggle is Indigo, who is ripped from her tribe, the Sand Lizard people, by white soldiers who destroy her home and family. Placed in a government school to learn the ways of a white child, Indigo is rescued by the kind-hearted Hattie and her worldly husband, Edward, who undertake to transform this complex, spirited girl into a "proper" young lady. Bit by bit, and through a wondrous journey that spans the European continent, traipses through the jungles of Brazil, and returns to the rich desert of Southwest America, Indigo bridges the gap between the two forces in her life and teaches her adoptive parents as much as, if not more than, she learns from them.

About the Author

Leslie Marmon Silko, a former professor of English and fiction writing, is the author of novels, short stories, essays, poetry, articles, and screenplays. She has won numerous awards and fellowships for her work. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Praise For Gardens in Ihe Dunes

Suzanne Ruta
The New York Times Book Review

Rich, intriguing...a mix of myth, allegory, Victorian children's tale, and adventure yarn, laced with readings in Southwest history.

The Boston Globe

Confident and beautifully written.

Melissa Levine
San Francisco Chronicle

Like Gabriel García Márquez, but more accurately reminiscent of Joseph Conrad...a rich descendant well worth reading.

Irene Warner
The Seattle Times Book Review

Rich, generous, funny, and ambitious, thought provoking and rewarding.

Nadya Labi

Silko has crafted a dreamlike tale out of one of the ugliest realities in American history.

Therese Stanton

The historical, geographical, and emotional scope of this sprawling novel is breathtaking. Silko tells and retells the stories of multicultural America and weaves them into the "master" narrative of American history.

Philip Connors

A tender, evocative tale.

Alexs Pate
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

You can depend on Leslie Marmon Silko to seduce and captivate you with her considerable literary powers. Her dreamlike narratives deliver amazing truths. With Gardens in the Dunes, Silko has crafted a book about faith in the old ways, in the natural ways of life, about the significance of a family and a girl's indomitable spirit.

Denise Low
The Kansas City Star

Silko writes descriptions as lush as rose petals. A cosmopolitan, spellbinding narrative.

David A. Walton
San Jose Mercury News

Silko's appeal is her ability to transcend with her story the obvious ethnic, feminist, and ecological messages so deeply embedded in her material....[Her] fiction is rooted in the real world and conveys the eternal messages of story land: love won and lost, separation and reunion, a child's growth and arrival into adulthood.