Understanding Sherman Alexie
Univ of South Carolina Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 211 pages
In this first book-length examination of Native American poet, novelist, filmmaker, and short story writer Sherman Alexie, Daniel Grassian offers a comprehensive look at a writer immersed in traditional Native American, as well as mainstream American, culture. Grassian takes readers through Alexie's career, from his first collections of poetry, The Business of Fancydancing and Old Shirts and New Skins, through such novels as Reservation Blues and Indian Killer, to the recent short story collection Ten Little Indians. Grassian suggests that Alexie's oeuvre reflects his primary artistic challenge: how to write about Indians in a predominantly televisual country that distorts and complicates the importance and nature of ethnicity itself. Drawing comparisons with such established Native American writers as N. Scott Momaday and James Welch as well as with Generation X peers, Grassian presents Alexie's work as equally informed by Native American culture and generic, mainstream influences. lives of Native Americans as his art transforms the conventional tools of cultural colonization into a means of Native American empowerment. Grassian explores Alexie's ability to counteract lingering stereo-types of Native Americans, his challenges to the dominant American history, and his suspicion of the New Age movement. The picture of Alexie that emerges from Grassian's text is one of a writer who is fiercely talented, intelligent, witty, and honest, a writer committed to helping readers understand contemporary Native American lives, even if his work sometimes portrays both Native Americans and non-Natives in an unfavorable light.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
African American alcohol Alexie believes Alexie describes Alexie explains Alexie portrays Alexie suggests Alexie writes Alexie's American culture anger basketball become Betty and Veronica Business of Fancydancing characters Checkers Chess claims collection contemporary Corliss counteract Coyote Springs Crazy Horse dancing desire despondency dreams ethnic Etta father feel fiction fire Frank Furthermore Gerald Vizenor guitar humor identity imagination Indian culture Indian Killer Indian woman Jace Weaver John John's Junior killed Little Indians lives Lone Ranger mainstream American male Mary Lynn narrator Native American literature non-Natives novel play poem poetry Powwow presumably Quoted rage Ranger and Tonto reader realizes Reggie relationship Reservation Blues salmon Seattle sexual Sherman Alexie skin speaker Spokane Indian Reservation Spokane Words stereotypical Stick Song story television tells Ten Little Indians Thomas's tion Toughest Indian traditions tribal tribe trickster ture ultimately vation Victor violence warrior Wayne white woman white world Wilson women