Sherman Alexie has been writing about life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and beyond for more than two decades. His new collection, Blasphemy, showcases the breadth of his work capturing the lives of natives and non-natives. It’s made up of 31 of his writings — both old and new.
The last time we spoke to Alexie, he said most previous attempts to write about Indians avoided focusing on the individual. “In literature, Native Americans have never been allowed to have a mid-life crisis,” he said. His writing is an attempt to change that.
“Everything for Native Americans in literature and our entire lives is always measured by the tribe. It’s always sort of a collective idea about who we are … The notion of autobiography is fairly rare in the Native American literary world.”
Alexie’s stories in his new collection highlight the semi-autobiographical works that he became famous for, but also his newer pieces that turn from his own life to more fictional themes.
What would you like to ask Sherman Alexie?
Update 10/24 11:55 am: Sherman Alexie will be appearing at the Bagdad Theater tonight. You can get tickets online or at the Bagdad Theater.
We’re also announcing that Sherman Alexie will be the Multnomah County Everybody Reads author for 2013, and will be back in the city in the spring for that event.