He lives in Seattle, Washington. Is the threat of violence the only way of making people take notice of the crimes against humanity that have been, and are still being, carried out in our names by our governments? The latter have a real world and actual lands to reclaim, the former only a century-old thirst for revenge. Aside from the obviously mentally ill main character who may or may not be killing people, I guess we never find out , the character who confounded me the most was David a white collage kid who grew up just outside of a reservation. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination. Alexie's prose is knife sharp, with a keen eye for pacing and sardonic humor. Well, this book was extremely enjoyable to read.
As a result, a complex group of people are thrown together as the city attempts to understand and stop the Indian Killer. Alexie is obviously aware that violence ignites violence, though he also knows that, however morally objectionable, the temptation to resort to violent means on the part of a people who has been oppressed, colonized, and decimated should be hardly surprising. Wilson tries in vain to convince John, as he has convinced himself, that he is not a white man at all but that he, too, is Indian. One possible suspect is John Smith, a Native American who was adopted by white people as a baby. Each character is fully developed, with sometimes haunting inner struggles and clear motivations. Much of society, judging from how the media treats us adoptees and describes us, chooses to paint us as unwanted dolls in need of saving and when eventually saved, unable to fully integrate into our adoptive families because of our early separation from the first parental unit. Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 2004.
When he was six years old, the priest showed him a stained glass window depicting the martyring of Jesuits by Indians. The manner is which our occupying people treat the original inhabitants. Some characters--sandwich Marie, for example, were very compelling and I wanted more about them. Since my introduction to e-reading, that's all I want. And the thing with the blacks and the Mexicans. Sherman Alexie does not pull any punches.
Although Alexie's writing is often emotionally cathartic, he writes for his people as well as for himself. Will be treated this way tomorrow. John doesn't know which tribe he is descended from, and feels alienated from both cultures. But when Alexie refuses to provide the spectacle of racists receiving the comeuppance, or of children of every creed joining hands to sing, the subtle truth shines through: race matters, and as long as it does, excuses, scape goats and utopias will simply distract from actual reflection on and analysis of race. I found the basic characteristics of the Natives and the whites to be interesting, and believable in this setting.
And ultimately in the end, is an unsolved who-dunnit that leaves you unsettled and disquieted. I always held him in high regard and have had this sitting on my shelf ever since. From this seemingly disparate array of characters, Alexie has constructed a powerful and compelling tale of contemporary Native life, of the perils of city life exacerbated by a combination of isolation from indigenous ways of being and in some cases the eradication of indigenousness by state action that declares tribes to be no-longer-extant and of a settler city named for one of their most romanticised historical figures — Seattle performs a powerful ironic function that fails to see them as anything other a threat, while seeing a stereotypical sameness and concurrently romanticised world. It is a damn fine story with rich, multi-layered and complex characters making sense of a situation that is teetering on the brink of loss of control and social order, and sometimes falling over than limit. It also follows several different characters, all of whom could be the serial killer. As his embitterment with his dual life increases, Smith falls deeper into vengeful madness and quickly surfaces as the prime suspect. The closer to the end the book got, the faster the pace.
Even the thugs who are beating up the vagrants are shown as more then just three dimensional bigots. John focuses his attention on Jack Wilson, a writer of Indian-themed mystery novels who claims to be part Native American through a distant ancestor. The book is well plotted and there's an element of real mystery to the suspense--could reality be driven by a vengeful spirit born out of centuries of wrongs done to Native Americans? Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981. Now, I'll say up front, I very rarely read paper books. It's fun or at least it starts out that way , but it's a whiff. They seeth with hatred on every page. Violence against Indians comes from hatred and ignorance.
That's why I gave it two stars instead of only one though frankly I feel that's a little generous , because there was just something that kept drawing me in. Silence alone makes people culpable in the face of such ongoing injustice. I write this to preface my thoughts about this novel compared to the others I have read by him. He attended college for a while, but before dropping out, over 200 of his poems had been published. Though John seldom speaks when he is in their company, the men accept his strange behaviour with compassion and humour.
Since my introduction to e-reading, that's all I want. As a baby, he is baptised by a Spokane Indian Jesuit priest, a man who was to influence him profoundly. How do people learn to forgive? His first novel, Reservation Blues, received the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and the Murray Morgan Prize. I usually steer clear of this genre of novel. American Studies in a Changing World. A slight limp in uncomfortable shoes. Alexie has published 18 books to date.