The Turquoise Ledge by Leslie Marmon Silko


I was born in 1948, the year of the supernova in the Mixed Spiral galaxy. My friend Joy Harjo, poet and astrologer, charted a triple triune for the afternoon of March 5, 1948 in Albuquerque, but dark planets rule my First House.

1948 is the Year of the Rat. We rats seldom make lasting friendships. We let the correspondence lapse and don’t return phone calls.

A great deal of what I call “memories” are bits and pieces I recall vividly; but the process we call “memory,” even recent memory, involves imagination. We learn to ignore the discrepancies between our memory of an event and a sister’s memory. We can’t be certain of anything.

Fortunately my subconscious remembers everything I need. Whatever I can’t recall, later comes back to me as I write fiction. I make myself a fictional character so I can write about myself. Only a few proper names are included because it wasn’t my intention to write about others but instead to construct a self-portrait.

Excerpted from The Turquoise Ledge
by Leslie Marmon Silko. Copyright © 2010 by Leslie Marmon Silko. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group.