Sherman Alexie. Writer. Brave guy. Activist.

Today’s New York Times has a piece on Sherman Alexie’s new book, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me“, an “assemblage of 156 confessional essays, vignettes and poems 51HiXEEugML._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_inspired by the death of Mr. Alexie’s mother from cancer in 2015.”

A looo-o-ng time ago I read the award-winning “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven“, a short story collection that featured Victor, a Spokane Indian who grows up on a reservation. Mr. Alexie himself is a Spokane-Coeur-d’Alene Indian. From what I remember the stories were great.

What struck me in the article were two things: what a hard life he’s had (born with hydroencephaly, diagnosed as bipolar, but there’s more–you can read the article to find out), and a quote about his typical reader and his ideal reader:

“When asked whom he considers his primary audience, he responded: “College-educated white women. That’s who buys and reads our books in mass numbers. To say otherwise is to either be purposefully or accidentally a liar. That said, my ideal reader is a poor, weird brown kid. And I get enough letters from them. When a weird brown kid says, ‘This story meant this to me,’ that’s the power.”

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About gcaroddo

Writer, technologist and project manager currently working as a fundraiser for a public school in Brooklyn, New York.
This entry was posted in memoir, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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