Sherman Alexie (October 07, 1966 - ..)
Born: 7th October, 1966
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Writer
Region: Washington, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven", "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian", "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me", "Reservation Blues", "Flight", "The Toughest Indian in the World", "The Business of Fancydancing"
Notable works: PEN/Faulkner Award, National Book Award

Sherman Alexie Facts

Biography

Sherman Alexie, in full Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr., (born October 7, 1966, Wellpinit, Spokane Indian Reservation, near Spokane, Washington, U.S.), Native American writer whose poetry, short stories, novels, and films about the lives of American Indians won him an international following.

Alexie was born to Salish Indians--a Coeur d'Alene father and a Spokane mother. He suffered from congenital hydrocephalus and underwent surgery when he was six months old. Though the procedure did not affect his ability to learn, he suffered harsh side effects, including seizures, in his childhood. As a boy, he was much influenced by his maternal grandmother, a spiritual leader of the Spokane, who died when he was eight. Because of his health, he was unable to compete physically, so he became instead an avid reader. He went off the reservation to attend an all-white high school, where he was an honour student and class president. His experiences there later fueled a young-adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), which won a National Book Award for Young People's Literature. He earned a scholarship to Spokane's Gonzaga University, where he studied for two years (1985-87) and began drinking heavily. He later graduated from Washington State University (B.A., 1991) and credited a poetry course he took there with helping him find his voice as a writer.

Alexie's first book was a volume of poetry, I Would Steal Horses (1992). Shortly after its publication he quit drinking. The same year, he produced The Business of Fancydancing, a book combining prose and poetry. A prolific writer, he published in 1993 two more books of poetry--First Indian on the Moon and Old Shirts & New Skins--and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, a collection of interwoven stories that won the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first book of fiction.

Reservation Blues (1995) was Alexie's first novel. In it he posited a visit by blues legend Robert Johnson to Big Mom (a character based on Alexie's own grandmother) as a means of examining life on the reservation and the issues facing Indians--a term Alexie preferred to "Native Americans," which he considered an oxymoronic term born of white guilt.

Alexie followed this in 1996 with another volume of poetry, The Summer of Black Widows, and the thriller Indian Killer. His stories in The Toughest Indian in the World (2000) won him the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short-story writing, and the story "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"--published first in The New Yorker in 2003 and later in the collection Ten Little Indians (2003)--also won prizes. The 2007 novel Flight centres on a teenage orphan who travels through time, viewing moments of historical and personal significance through the eyes of others. Blasphemy (2012) collected new and previously published short stories. Alexie also contributed writing on a variety of subjects to the Seattle weekly The Stranger.

In 2017 Alexie released the memoir You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, in which he chronicled his complicated relationship with his mother. The book was well received, and in February 2018 it was named the winner of the American Library Association's Carnegie Medal for nonfiction. Shortly thereafter, however, allegations of sexual misconduct against Alexie were made public, and he declined the award. He issued a statement in which he admitted to doing things that had harmed people and apologized to those he had hurt.

In addition to writing books, Alexie was involved in filmmaking. He wrote the screenplay for and produced Smoke Signals (1998), based on the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. He also wrote a screenplay for and directed The Business of Fancydancing, based loosely on his book of the same name. Alexie collaborated with others to write music for his movies as well. Noted for his frankness, quick wit, and mordant sense of humour, he was a popular speaker and performer, and he appeared on such television programs as The Colbert Report.

In 2010 Alexie won a number of literary awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award for War Dances (2009; another mix of prose and poetry) and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.

Top 50 Sherman Alexie quotes

Writing is a lonely business.
Business
Lonely
Lonely business
Writing
The dream he needed most was the dream that frightened him more.
Dream
Frightened
He
Him
More
Most
Needed
If I wasn't writing poems I'd be washing my hands all the time.
Hands
Poems
Time
Washing
Writing
All art is exploitation.
Art
Exploitation
All I owe the world is my art.
Art
Owe
World
My only purpose is to teach children to rebel against authority figures.
Against
Authority
Authority figures
Children
Figures
Only
Purpose
Rebel
Teach
Sixty percent of all Indians live in urban areas, but nobody's writing about them. They're really an underrepresented population, and the ironic thing is very, very few of those we call Native American writers actually grew up on reservations, and yet most of their work is about reservations.
About
Actually
American
American writers
Area
Call
Few
Grew
Indians
Ironic
Live
Most
Native
Native american
The people who loved me when I was seven years old love my books, and the people who didn't like me when I was seven years old don't like my books.
Books
Like
Love
Loved
Me
Old
People
Seven
Who
Years
I was a controversial figure on my reservation when I was a kid. I was mouthy and opinionated and arrogant. Nothing has changed.
Arrogant
Changed
Controversial
Figure
Kid
Nothing
Opinionated
Reservation
White Americans have a short memory.
American
Memory
Short
Short memory
White
My father was always depressed. When he was home and sober, he was mostly in his room.
Always
Depressed
Father
He
His
Home
Mostly
Room
Sober
I had the feeling I was going to be successful, and I didn't want to be another disappointing Indian.
Another
Disappointing
Feeling
Going
Had
Indian
Successful
Want
My wife was the first romantic partner who understood both American and native parts of me - not so much the positive stuff, but the damage.
American
Both
Damage
First
Me
Much
Native
Partner
Parts
Positive
Romantic
Stuff
Understood
Who
My career means, if you're a non-Indian writing about Indians, at least there's one Indian in your rearview mirror.
About
Career
Indian
Indians
Least
Means
Mirror
Rearview
Rearview mirror
Writing
You
Your
My name is Sherman J. Alexie Jr., and I am an insomniac.
Am
I am
Name
My father was sleepless most of his life. So by the age of five, I was awake with him all night long, watching bad television or we'd lie in the same bed, and I'd read my comic books while he read his latest spy or mystery novel.
Age
All night
Awake
Bad
Bed
Books
Comic
Comic books
Father
Five
He
Him
His
Latest
In the middle of the night, when you're ambiguously ethnic, like me, when you're brown, beige, mauve, siena, one of those lighter browns in the Crayola box. You have to be careful of the cops and robbers, because nobody's quite sure what you are, but everybody has assumptions.
Assumptions
Be careful
Because
Box
Brown
Careful
Cops
Ethnic
Everybody
Lighter
Like
Me
Middle
Night
You want the good life? You live where white people live, you go to school where white people go to school, and you shop where white people shop.
Go
Good
Good life
Life
Live
People
School
Shop
Want
Where
White
You
There have been players with Indian heritage, but there hasn't been a Native-American professional basketball player who became a regular for all sorts of social and political reasons.
Basketball
Basketball player
Became
Been
Heritage
Indian
Player
Players
Political
Reasons
Regular
Social
Sort
Who
I grew up in a storytelling culture, a tribal culture, but also in an American storytelling culture.
Also
American
Culture
Grew
Storytelling
Tribal
Up
What inspires a poem for me is usually a moment.
Inspires
Me
Moment
Poem
You know, people speak in poetry all the time. They just don't realize it.
Just
Know
People
Poetry
Realize
Speak
Time
You
The form I most enjoy writing is the sonnet or sonnet-like forms, where you have a - you know, three stanzas or two stanzas that lead into a concluding couplet.
Enjoy
Form
Forms
Know
Lead
Most
Sonnet
Three
Two
Where
Writing
You
There isn't a lot of poverty literature in the young-adult world. And I don't know why that is, but I think certainly I felt a gap.
Certainly
Felt
Gap
I think
Know
Literature
Lot
Poverty
Think
Why
World
I don't think there's a whole lot of class literature at all. I think most of that has become racially based, and people don't think of it as being class literature.
Based
Become
Being
Class
I think
Literature
Lot
Most
People
Think
Whole
The problem is that too many adults think their kids' lives are simple, or they try to make their lives simple, when their emotional lives are just as complicated as ours. They might have a few less tools to deal with it because they're young, but the emotions are all the same, and the subject matter is all the same.
Adult
Because
Complicated
Deal
Emotional
Emotions
Few
Just
Kids
Less
Lives
Make
Many
Matter
I don't know what any individual should do about crossing her own borders. I only know that I live a happier, more adventurous life, by crossing borders.
About
Adventurous
Any
Borders
Crossing
Happier
Her
Individual
Know
Life
Live
More
Only
Own
I've come to the point in my life where I encourage young Native Americans to become much more selfish about their personal needs and wants.
About
American
Become
Come
Encourage
Life
More
Much
My life
Native
Native americans
Needs
Personal
Point
Spiritual matters should be private.
Matters
Private
Should
Spiritual
I don't have to participate in another culture's ceremonies in order to respect that culture.
Another
Ceremonies
Culture
Participate
Respect
I felt so conflicted about having fled the rez as a kid that I created a whole literary career that left me there.
About
Career
Created
Felt
Having
Kid
Left
Literary
Me
Whole
We all know the Indians were colonized by the Europeans, but every colonized Indian has been colonized by the Indian reaction to colonization.
Been
Colonization
Europeans
Every
Has-been
Indian
Indians
Know
Reaction
Were
You'd never know it from reading the rest of the Native writers, but Indians actually grew up with American pop culture.
Actually
American
Culture
Grew
Indians
Know
Native
Never
Pop
Pop culture
Reading
Rest
Up
Writers
In a real-world way, my gifts are very limited in terms of what I can do.
Gifts
I can
Limited
Terms
Very
Way
I wanted to do a weird book and reestablish my independent, small-press roots.
Book
Independent
Roots
Wanted
Weird
When you construct a mix tape, the first song you come out with has to be a barnburner.
Come
Construct
First
Mix
Out
Song
Tape
You
I look more Indian when I'm serious.
Indian
Look
More
Serious
But the real interesting stuff is in the cellar and the attic.
Attic
Cellar
Interesting
Real
Stuff
I'm a method writer. In order to write about the emotion, I have to experience it. I get physically tired and exhausted, devoting hours and hours and hours to it.
About
Emotion
Exhausted
Experience
Get
Hours
Hours and hours
Method
Physically
Tired
Write
Writer
In high school I dated a white woman. She would come to visit me on the rez. And her dad, who was very racist, didn't like that at all. And he told her one time, 'You shouldn't go on the rez if you're white because Indians have a lot of anger in their heart.'
Anger
Because
Come
Dad
Dated
Go
He
Heart
Her
High
High school
Indians
Like
Lot
Certainly I'm angry at the way Indians have been treated and continue to be treated. But I don't think it's a helpless emotion.
Angry
Been
Certainly
Continue
Emotion
Helpless
Indians
Think
Treated
Way
My father is an amazing man.
Amazing
Father
Man
Don't live up to your stereotypes.
Live
Stereotypes
Up
Your
I think a lot of Indians want Indian artists to be cultural cheerleaders rather than cultural investigators.
Artists
Cultural
I think
Indian
Indians
Lot
Rather
Than
Think
Want
Well, I think the worst part about tribalism is its tendency to fundamentalize, and if I can fight fundamentalism in any of its forms I'm happy.
About
Any
Fight
Forms
Fundamentalism
Happy
I can
I think
Part
Tendency
Think
Well
Worst
Nostalgia is always doomed and dooming.
Always
Doomed
Nostalgia
I think that white women are more apt to read laterally. So I think there's some strong identification for women, and their political and social positions, and minorities. I think that the political power of, let's say, the average Indian man and a white woman are pretty equal.
Apt
Average
Equal
I think
Identification
Indian
Man
Minorities
More
Political
Political power
Positions
Power
Pretty
A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. (young adult). is the Garden of Eden of literature.
Adult
Eden
Garden
Idea
Literature
Lot
No idea
Now
People
Right
Young
Young adult
I thought I'd been condescended to as an Indian - that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing young adult literature.
Adult
Been
Compared
Indian
Literature
Nothing
Thought
Writing
Young
Young adult
When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author.
Admire
Author
Note
Piece
Read
Send
Thanks
Writing
You

Sherman Alexie essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Exploring Racial Stereotypes In Airline flight Patterns English Literature Essay
Entrenched within the racially charged dialogue between the primary character and the taxi drivers in Sherman Alexie's Air travel Patterns is the following declaration: "I've a tale about contradictions" (Alexie 58). However, the contradictions that permeate the storyline exist simply as smaller building blocks of the best contradiction; in wanting to talk about, surmount, and break in the action through common stereotypes, Sherman Alexie actually reinforces perceptions of the North american Indian as furious and bitter up against the dominant populace, the BLACK man as a victim of..
Means TO STATE Phoenix Arizona English Literature Essay
Sherman Alexie was born in 1966 in an Indian reservation near Seattle, Washington. His descent his half Spokane 50 percent Coeur dAlene. He started by writing poetry before writing prose. His writings describe the life of Indians today as it is, realistically, and depict the unvarnished fact. Despair, poverty and alcoholism are recurrent styles. His protagonists often have difficulty in their lives and with themselves, and what this means to be an Indian nowadays. Not surprisingly, his works contain humor and irony. The short story 'This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona' is part of..
Native Us citizens Cultural Appreciation Marketing Essay
Culture is a system of beliefs, principles, traditions, and actions that are passed through generation to generation from a specific band of individuals. The culture of a group of people is strongly treasured, whereas ignorance is not. Christopher Columbus first found out America in 1492 and called after the first people he laid sight on as "Indians", considering he was in India. These so called "Indians" constitute the history of America today, however approximately they have been through with the coming of Europeans and colonization, one would think their culture would be valued and appreciated...
True Journal Of A COMPONENT Time Indian English Literature Essay
The Absolutely True Journal of any Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is an amazingly well written work of fiction. It really is a book that tells a tale of great tragedy, heartbreak, but also one of delight and triumph. The reserve talks about the activities of racism, prejudices towards other folks, and residing in poverty. The people feel like individuals who could can be found in real life. We are able to sympathize with the primary character Arnold Nature Junior due to emotions that the storyline does draw out of the reader. Finally, Sherman Alexie can add dimensionality to the novel by using..
Essay regarding Education and Identity
Within our society, there are many of degrading identities which can be too often put upon persons. Due to this event, an individual offers little control on how common people views all of them. However , 1 deciding element that can change how you are portrayed to society is usually your knowledge and education. Through education, individuals can escape from society's expectations and achieve in order to impact the earth around them.Despite society's conception in individuals, education provides a image resolution to change the assumed identity given to all of them. Hundreds of..
Explaining Education Essay
Within a community abundantly enriched with a great collection of ebooks and authors, it is not eccentric for different writers to feel upon precisely the same or identical subjects that reflect their personal morals. Education, a great advocated and major dietary supplement for the achievements of our society's youths, can be interpreted in immeasurable techniques. An excerpt taken from "Education", written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, acknowledges Mother nature to be the necessary foundation of education in contrast while using ineffective framework of learning that..
Sherman Alexie's Superman and me Essay
Sherman Alexie's "Superman and Me" Sherman Alexie's "Superman and Me" (pg. 27) is in the genre of auto-biography. The main ideas with this story are Sherman Alexie's experience of learning how to read, the power of words, Sherman Alexie's encounter overcoming diversity and his path to success.The story begins with him instructing himself to see using a Superman comic publication. He cannot read the words but , applied his thoughts to create a dialogue he believed went along with the pictures.  He advanced in this subject browsing extensively..
"Little Warrior" by Lucille O'Neal Essay
Lucille O'Neal wrote " Little Warrior". The story is all about the way Shaquille O'Neal received his name. A new single mother, strict grandma and grandpa house, and it was a racist time. A hurtful time was occurring and Matn Luther Full was killed.Giving her child female name with great which means. Raising children by yourself is not easy to do and she gave her boy the best footings while growing up. The responsibilities and together in order to survive. Andy Greenberg composed " One step Beyond Human".The story is around Hugh Herr both Herr's legs had been..
Sherman Alexie is the Lone Placer And Tonto Fistfight Composition
Sherman Alexie's short tales have the standpoint from the light man's Of india, who narrates stories which have negative stereotypes and assumptions about American Indians. Nevertheless , Sherman Alexie's collection of short stories persuades the reader to unlearn these types of prescribed stereotypes about Native culture. Alexie challenges the Western discourse by offering fresh insights about life the reservation through rejecting the of made their victim American American indian. Kathleen Carroll in "Ceremonial Tradition as Form and Theme in Sherman Alexie's..
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