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Conversations with Sherman Alexie

Conversations with Sherman Alexie

Edited by Nancy J. Peterson
Series: Literary Conversations Series

Hardcover : 9781604732795, 224 pages, December 2009
Paperback : 9781604732801, 224 pages, October 2009

Interviews with the Native American author of the short story collections Ten Little Indians and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; the National Book Award–winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; and the screenplay Smoke Signals


Sherman Alexie (b. 1966) gained national attention upon release of The Business of Fancydancing, his first collection of poems, in 1992, when a critic for the New York Times Book Review called him “one of the major lyric voices of our time.” More recently, in 2007, Alexie won a National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a young-adult novel based on his own high school experiences.

In Conversations with Sherman Alexie, the writer displays the same passion, dynamic sense of humor, and sharp observational skills that characterize his work. The interviews ranging from 1993 to 2007 feature Alexie speaking candidly about the ideas and themes behind poetry collections (I Would Steal Horses, First Indian on the Moon), short story collections (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Ten Little Indians), novels (Indian Killer, Reservation Blues), and screenplays (Smoke Signals).

Coeur d'Alene through his father and Spokane through his mother, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit on the Spokane Indian Reservation in eastern Washington. Reservation life is a central concern in his work, as are politics, love, contemporary literature, city living (he now lives in Seattle), and his beloved sport of basketball. Alexie's wit, polemical engagement, and willingness to confront received notions have made him one of the most popular Native American writers today.