Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven - Sherman Alexie
Perhaps it's my need for nice distinct categories, but in general, I like think to think of authors as novelists or poets or short-story writers. Obviously, I know that people like to try their hand at different types of writing, and I have noted on this blog in the past people whose novels I don't enjoy, but whose short-fiction I truly love. Sherman Alexie is one writer I am starting to get to know who seems to have quite the talent in a number of areas. I recently read his juvenile fiction, and I came across a few of his poems in a collection called Face. This book, the basis of the movie Smoke Signals, falls into the short-story category - though many of the characters run through the whole book making multiple appearances at different point in their lives. There are 22-stories in all, focusing on live on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Many of the themes are the same as in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - alcoholism, basketball, tragic car accidents, and trying to find humor amidst heartache. But, for me, the key theme was simply the idea of survival through storyteling - and the power of putting words to experience.