1. Sherman Alexie

    Sherman Alexie is the author of, most recently, Blasphemy, stories, from Grove Press, and Face, poetry, from Hanging Loose Press. He is the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and a Special Citation for the 1994 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction. Smoke Signals, the film he wrote and coproduced, won both the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Alexie lives with his family in Seattle.

  2. Sherman Alexie

    Sherman Alexie was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grewup on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, about fifty milesnorthwest of Spokane.

    Alexie was bornhydrocephalic-meaning his brain was overproducing cerebral spinal fluid-andunderwent an operation at the age of six months, which he was not expected tosurvive. When he came through, his doctors warned that he would live withsevere mental damage. However, Alexie beat the odds and proved himself somewhatof a prodigy. Despite suffering from seizures throughout his childhood, helearned to read by age three, and had devoured such novels as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath by age five, though hesays, "I certainly missed plenty of nuance. Being precociously literate is notthe same as being literary."

    While studying at the Wellpinitschool, Alexie was handed a textbook that had his mother's name in it.Realizing the bleakness of education on the reservation and feeling ostracizedby his peers, Alexie became determined to break away. Shortly thereafter, hemade up his mind to attend Reardan High School, a school off the reservationand thirty miles south of Wellpinit, which promised to satisfy his craving fora new and better experience.

    The only Indian there, except forthe school mascot, he excelled in academics and became the star of thebasketball team-which, incidentally, inspired his first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-TimeIndian.

    Upon graduating from Reardan High in1985, Alexie went on to attend Gonzaga University, and transferred after twoyears to Washington State University, where he initially planned to studymedicine . . . before fainting several times in human anatomy classes. It was,clearly, time for a change.

    Stumbling into a poetry workshop ledby Alex Kuo (author of Lipstick and OtherStories), Alexie realized that he had found his true passion. He graduatedfrom WSU with a BA in American studies, and received the Washington State ArtsCommission Poetry Fellowship in 1991, as well as the National Endowment for theArts Poetry Fellowship in 1992. The same year, his first two poetrycollections, The Business of Fancydancingand I Would Steal Horses, were published.

    This proved to be the beginning of along and storied career, landmarked by numerous prestigious awards, including aSpecial Citation for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction, aLila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, a National Book Award for YoungPeople's Literature, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and afour-time World Heavyweight Poetry Champion title. Alexie also ventured intofilm, writing and producing the critically acclaimed Smoke Signals, which was released at the Sundance Film Festival andwon the Audience Award as well as the Filmmaker's Trophy. Subsequently pickedup and distributed by Miramax Films, SmokeSignals was Alexie at his best, described as "unpretentious, funny andsoulful" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Despite his success, Alexie's senseof social consciousness never left him. He is a voracious public speaker onethnic tolerance, insomnia, and alcoholism, all of which have influenced him atdifferent points in his life. Currently, Alexie lives in Seattle with his wifeand two sons.



Featured ebook

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie’s darkly humorous story collection weaves memory, fantasy, and stark reality to powerfully evoke life on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

The twenty-four linked tales in Alexie’s debut collection—an instant classic—paint an unforgettable portrait of life on and around the Spokane Indian Reservation, a place where “Survival = Anger x Imagination,” where HUD houses and generations of privation intertwine with history, passion, and myth.

We follow Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the longwinded storyteller no one really listens to; his half-hearted nemesis, Victor, the basketball star turned recovering alcoholic; and a wide cast of other vividly drawn characters on a haunting journey filled with humor and sorrow, resilience and resignation, dreams and reality. Alexie’s unadulterated honesty and boundless compassion come together in a poetic vision of a world in which the gaps between past and present are not really gaps after all.

The basis for the acclaimed 1998 feature film Smoke Signals,the Chicago Tribune noted, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven . . . is for the American Indian what Richard Wright’s Native Son was for the black American in 1940.”

The collection received a Special Citation for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction.

This ebook edition features a new prologue from the author, as well as an illustrated biography and rare photos from Sherman Alexie’s personal collection.