Oct 20, 2007

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

I am a loooooong time fan of Sherman Alexie - his Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a favorite of mine. Any new Sherman Alexie book is worth a celebration, one billed specifically as ya only makes the party bigger.

Loosely based on Alexie's own life, this fictional account of a piece of Junior's life growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation is funny, sad, intelligent, and most of all telling. Telling of being a teen, of being a teen with dreams (cartoons included, yay!), of being a teen with dreams in a place that isn't so great for the fulfillment of dreams.

American Indian issues are not always at the forefront of our minds - there's so much other god-awful stuff going on and its hard to keep all of it going all the time if you want to live a generally optimistic life - but this book put the questions back in mine while in no way being didactic or depressing. And I felt, afterward, I had a much better emotional sense of what is going down on reservations.

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