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Sherman Alexie

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Sherman Alexie

Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966 in Spokane, Washington) is an award-winning and prolific writer (of novels, short stories, poems, and screenplays) who lives in Seattle, Washington. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American (he is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian) in the United States.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation (in Wellpinit, Washington), about 50 miles northwest of the city of Spokane. Despite a childhood of medical difficulties, he was a precocious reader who quickly became frustrated with schools on the reservation and opted to attend a nearby (all white) high school. He went on to attend Gonzaga University before transferring to Washington State University and becoming one of the first members of his tribe to graduate from college. He struggled with alcoholism in his time at college until being inspired to go sober by his initial literary successes.

Alexie's writing is marked by harsh depictions of reservation life, autobiographical elements, colorful use of humor, political outspokenness, and seamless invocation of history and popular culture. He has also dabbled in stand-up comedy and music.

Books

  • The Business of Fancydancing (poetry, 1991)
  • I Would Steal Horses (poetry, 1993)
  • Old Shirts and New Skins (poetry, 1993)
  • First Indian on the Moon (poetry, 1993)
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (short stories, 1993)
  • Seven Mourning Songs For the Cedar Flute I Have Yet to Learn to Play (poetry, 1993)
  • Reservation Blues (novel, 1995)
  • Water Flowing Home (poetry, 1995)
  • Indian Killer (novel, 1996; referred to by Alexie as "a feel-good novel about interracial murder")
  • The Summer of Black Widows (poetry, 1996)
  • The Man Who Loves Salmon (poetry, 1998)
  • The Toughest Indian in the World (short stories, 2000)
  • One Stick Song (poetry, 2000)
  • Ten Little Indians (stories, 2003)

Films

  • Smoke Signals (writer, 1999; adapted from a short story, "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" in Lone Ranger and Tonto)
  • The Business of Fancydancing (writer and director, 2002)
  • 49? (writer, 2003)

External links

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