By any standard of measurement, Leslie Marmon Silko is a great American writer, and her novels, beginning with "Ceremony", are notable additions to American literature. "Almanac of the Dead" may be her literary masterpiece, a magnificent "stream-of-consciousness" novel that looks back on more than five hundred years of sordid history between Western European invaders (and their descendants) and the original Native American inhabitants of the Americas. Silko draws upon Native American mythology from both continents in creating a narrative that switches back and forth between the present and the past, with much of it set in present-day Tucson, Arizona. Hers is an imperfect work of fiction, and yet, it is one that deserves favorable comparison with the likes of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick", especially as a most beguiling mixture of fact and fiction, legend and history, or any of the great novels by Thomas Pynchon ("V", "Gravity's Rainbow", "Vineland"). Like Melville or Pynchon's great work, "Almanac of the Dead" is a novel that deserves to be read by as wide a readership as possible; a great work of literary art which remains most relevant now.