Sherman Alexie - Quotes

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In the middle of the night, when you're ambiguously ethnic, like me, when you're brown, beige, mauve, siena, one of those lighter browns in the Crayola box. You have to be careful of the cops and robbers, because nobody's quite sure what you are, but everybody has assumptions. ---->>>

We all know the Indians were colonized by the Europeans, but every colonized Indian has been colonized by the Indian reaction to colonization. ---->>>

Don't live up to your stereotypes. ---->>>

I've come to the point in my life where I encourage young Native Americans to become much more selfish about their personal needs and wants. ---->>>

I was a controversial figure on my reservation when I was a kid. I was mouthy and opinionated and arrogant. Nothing has changed. ---->>>

My father was sleepless most of his life. So by the age of five, I was awake with him all night long, watching bad television or we'd lie in the same bed, and I'd read my comic books while he read his latest spy or mystery novel. ---->>>

Sixty percent of all Indians live in urban areas, but nobody's writing about them. They're really an underrepresented population, and the ironic thing is very, very few of those we call Native American writers actually grew up on reservations, and yet most of their work is about reservations. ---->>>

But the real interesting stuff is in the cellar and the attic. ---->>>

Certainly I'm angry at the way Indians have been treated and continue to be treated. But I don't think it's a helpless emotion. ---->>>

I felt so conflicted about having fled the rez as a kid that I created a whole literary career that left me there. ---->>>

You know, people speak in poetry all the time. They just don't realize it.

You know, people speak in poetry all the time. They just don't realize it.

The dream he needed most was the dream that frightened him more. ---->>>

I don't know what any individual should do about crossing her own borders. I only know that I live a happier, more adventurous life, by crossing borders. ---->>>

My only purpose is to teach children to rebel against authority figures. ---->>>

All I owe the world is my art. ---->>>

You want the good life? You live where white people live, you go to school where white people go to school, and you shop where white people shop. ---->>>

I think that white women are more apt to read laterally. So I think there's some strong identification for women, and their political and social positions, and minorities. I think that the political power of, let's say, the average Indian man and a white woman are pretty equal. ---->>>

The problem is that too many adults think their kids' lives are simple, or they try to make their lives simple, when their emotional lives are just as complicated as ours. They might have a few less tools to deal with it because they're young, but the emotions are all the same, and the subject matter is all the same. ---->>>

My name is Sherman J. Alexie Jr., and I am an insomniac. ---->>>

My wife was the first romantic partner who understood both American and native parts of me - not so much the positive stuff, but the damage.

My wife was the first romantic partner who understood both American and native parts of me - not so much the positive stuff, but the damage.

I thought I'd been condescended to as an Indian - that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing young adult literature. ---->>>

My father was always depressed. When he was home and sober, he was mostly in his room. ---->>>

Nostalgia is always doomed and dooming. ---->>>

What inspires a poem for me is usually a moment. ---->>>

In high school I dated a white woman. She would come to visit me on the rez. And her dad, who was very racist, didn't like that at all. And he told her one time, 'You shouldn't go on the rez if you're white because Indians have a lot of anger in their heart.'

In high school I dated a white woman. She would come to visit me on the rez. And her dad, who was very racist, didn't like that at all. And he told her one time, 'You shouldn't go on the rez if you're white because Indians have a lot of anger in their heart.'

The form I most enjoy writing is the sonnet or sonnet-like forms, where you have a - you know, three stanzas or two stanzas that lead into a concluding couplet. ---->>>

There have been players with Indian heritage, but there hasn't been a Native-American professional basketball player who became a regular for all sorts of social and political reasons. ---->>>

A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. (young adult). is the Garden of Eden of literature. ---->>>

I'm a method writer. In order to write about the emotion, I have to experience it. I get physically tired and exhausted, devoting hours and hours and hours to it. ---->>>

When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author.

When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author.

If I wasn't writing poems I'd be washing my hands all the time. ---->>>

I look more Indian when I'm serious. ---->>>

Well, I think the worst part about tribalism is its tendency to fundamentalize, and if I can fight fundamentalism in any of its forms I'm happy. ---->>>

I think a lot of Indians want Indian artists to be cultural cheerleaders rather than cultural investigators. ---->>>

Writing is a lonely business. ---->>>

When you construct a mix tape, the first song you come out with has to be a barnburner. ---->>>

You'd never know it from reading the rest of the Native writers, but Indians actually grew up with American pop culture. ---->>>

All art is exploitation. ---->>>

I don't have to participate in another culture's ceremonies in order to respect that culture. ---->>>

I grew up in a storytelling culture, a tribal culture, but also in an American storytelling culture. ---->>>

I wanted to do a weird book and reestablish my independent, small-press roots. ---->>>

In a real-world way, my gifts are very limited in terms of what I can do. ---->>>

My career means, if you're a non-Indian writing about Indians, at least there's one Indian in your rearview mirror. ---->>>

Spiritual matters should be private. ---->>>

The people who loved me when I was seven years old love my books, and the people who didn't like me when I was seven years old don't like my books. ---->>>

There isn't a lot of poverty literature in the young-adult world. And I don't know why that is, but I think certainly I felt a gap. ---->>>

White Americans have a short memory. ---->>>

I don't think there's a whole lot of class literature at all. I think most of that has become racially based, and people don't think of it as being class literature. ---->>>

I had the feeling I was going to be successful, and I didn't want to be another disappointing Indian. ---->>>

My father is an amazing man. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 10-07, 1966
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966) is a Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-American novelist, short story writer, poet, and filmmaker. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as an Indigenous American with ancestry from several tribes. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and now lives in Seattle, Washington. One of his best-known books is The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), a collection of short stories. It was adapted as the film Smoke Signals (1998), for which he also wrote the screenplay. His first novel Reservation Blues received one of the fifteen 1996 American Book Awards. His first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), is a semi-autobiographical novel that won the 2007 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Odyssey Award as best 2008 audiobook for young people (read by Alexie). His 2009 collection of short stories and poems, War Dances, won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Alexie is the guest editor of the 2015 Best American Poetry.(wikipedia)