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Culture & Religion

The Absolutely True Story of Sherman Alexie

“Nobody who’s ever been poor would ever use the phrase ‘selling out.'” So said Sherman Alexie, award-winning author of “War Dances,” “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” in an interview with Big Think this week. The candid, funny discussion touched on his work, his Spokane Indian roots, his rise to fame, and his successful battle with alcoholism.

He also expanded on his prominent public skepticism of the e-book, which he considers a toy of the “economically elite” and fears will change existing publishing models for the worse. Addressing the question of literary heroes, he chose to cite literary works instead, revealing the books that have moved him the most both as a child and an adult.

Sherman Alexie, author of the award-winning novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, on Young Adult fiction: “A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. is the Garden of Eden of literature… One person asked me, ‘Wouldn’t you have rather won the National Book Award for an adult, serious work?’ I thought I’d been condescended to as an Indian — that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing Y.A.”

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