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Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966) is an author, poet, filmmaker, and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Alexie's best known works include The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Smoke Signals, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He lives in Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker.

Personal

Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, was born in October 1966, on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. He was born with water in the brain (hydrocephalus). Against all odds, he survived without mental retardation. He did suffer seizures throughout his childhood, and as a child spent a lot of time reading. He read John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath by the time he was five years old. Alexie decided to attend high school off the reservation after finding his mother's name written in a textbook assigned to him at the reservation high school, which he found depressing and degrading.

In 1985, Alexie enrolled at Gonzaga Universitymarker on a scholarship. In 1987, he transferred to Washington State Universitymarker (WSU). There he was encouraged to write poetry. Soon after graduating from WSU with a BA in American Studies, Alexie published his first work of poetry.

In college, Alexie developed a drinking problem, but he quit drinking at the age of 23 and has been sober ever since.

Alexie has been married since 1992 to Diane Tomhave, who is of Hidatsa, Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi heritage. They have two sons: Joseph (b. ca. 1997) and David (b. ca. 2001).

Basketball

Alexie is also noted for his love of basketball, both as a fan of the pro and college game, and a player of street ball. He has written extensively on the subject. He was a longtime fan of the Seattle SuperSonics, prior to the team's relocation to Oklahoma Citymarker after the 2007-08 NBA season. He remains a fixture on the basketball playgrounds of Seattle. His writings are frequently cited by notable basketball writers, such as ESPN's Henry Abbott.

Prior to the Sonics relocation, the City of Seattle filed a lawsuit against the team's ownership group headed by businessman Clayton Bennett, in order to force the team to play out the remainder of its lease (which expires in 2010) in Seattle's KeyArenamarker. Alexie testified in the trial as to the importance of the Sonics to the Seattle community, an experience that he would later describe as the "most terrifying and stressful public speaking gig I've ever had to endure." The testimony was ultimately for naught, as the City of Seattle settled with the ownership group, permitting the team to break its lease and move to Oklahoma City for the following season, in exchange for a multi-million dollar cash settlement. Alexie has hinted that he may become a fan of the Sonics' former rival, the Portland Trail Blazers.

Works

Alexie's stories have been included in several prestigious short story anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories 2004, edited by Lorrie Moore; and Pushcart Prize XXIX of the Small Presses. Alexie also served as the guest editor for the winter 2000-01 issue of Ploughshares

Alexie's book, Flight was published in April 2007. His most recently published book, the young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the selection for the National Book Award in the young people's literature category.

Poetry

  • On The Amtrak from Boston to New York City (poetry c.1990)
  • The Business of Fancydancing (poetry, 1991)
  • I Would Steal Horses (poetry, 1992)
  • Old Shirts and New Skins (poetry, 1993)
  • Postcards to Columbus ( poetry, 1993)
  • First Indian on the Moon (poetry, 1993)
  • Seven Mourning Songs For the Cedar Flute I Have Yet to Learn to Play (poetry, 1993)
  • Water Flowing Home (poetry, 1995)
  • The Summer of Black Widows (poetry, 1996)
  • The Man Who Loves Salmon (poetry, 1998)
  • One Stick Song (poetry, 2000)
  • Dangerous Astronomy (poetry, 2005)
  • Face (poetry, 2009)


Fiction



Films



Awards

Alexie is the recipient of numerous awards including the 1999 O. Henry Award, the 2000inaugural PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award, the Poetry Society of America's 2001 Shelley Memorial Award and the Poets and Writers "Writers Exchange 2001" Contest. He was a member of the 2000, 2001, 2005 & 2006 Independent Spirit Awards Nominating Committees. He has also served as a creative adviser to the Sundance Institute Writers Fellowship Program and the Independent Feature Films West (which has now been changed to Film Independent) Screenwriters Lab. Alexie most recently was a juror for the 2005 Rae Award.

Sherman Alexie at the 2007 Texas Book Festival.
At the University of Washingtonmarker's 2003 commencement ceremony, Alexie was the commencement speaker. He was an Artist in Residence at the university and taught courses in American Ethnic Studies in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Recently, he earned the 2003 Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award, Washington State University's highest honor for alumni. He also holds honorary degrees from Seattle Universitymarker (doctor of humanities, honoris causa - 2000) and Columbia College, Chicago (1999). Alexie has also worked as a mentor for the PEN Emerging Writers program.

Awards and honors



e-Book

Journalist Motoko Rich quoted Alexie as saying that he refused to allow his novels to be made available in digital form. Alexie called the expensive reading devices "elitist" and said that their widespread adoption would harm both readers from poor communities and authors other than bestsellers.

See also



Notes and references

  1. ShermanAlexie.com: The Official Site of Sherman Alexie. "Biography." http://www.fallsapart.com/biography.html
  2. Rich, Motoko. " Book Fair Buzz Is Not Contained Between 2 Covers." The New York Times. May 31, 2009. Retrieved on July 6, 2009.
  • Nygren, ├ůse. "A World of Story-Smoke: A Conversation with Sherman Alexie." MELUS 30.4 (Winter 2005): 149-169.
  • West, Dennis, and Joan M. West. "Sending Cinematic Smoke Signals: An Interview with Sherman Alexie." Cineaste 23.41998 29-33. [76464]
  • http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/race_relations/OneAmerica/transcript.html - News hour (Sherman, Clintion, Lehrer)


Translators of Sherman Alexie's works

Alexie's works have been translated into many languages. Below is a list of translators according to language (by alphabetical order):

Swedish - Ingela Jernberg

Icelandic - Kyler Gruenke

Japanese - Ling Juan Ho

Punjabi - Gurjab Toor

Swahili - Kudus Babatunde Akinwande

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