Author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry, and think through his semi-autobiographical writings. One of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century, Alexie was described by Men’s Journal as “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.” His National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a #1 New York Times bestseller, was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by TIME.
Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, but it wasn’t until a college professor recognized his “intensity of language, passion, and energy” that he fully committed to writing. Shortly after, his first books of poetry were published, and he began developing into a gifted orator, telling tales of contemporary American Indian life with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor, and biting wit.
His novels, such as Reservation Blues
, Indian Killer
, and The Toughest Indian in the World
, have won numerous awards and accolades, including Booklist’s
Editor’s Choice Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and Publishers Weekly’s
Book of the Year. His anthology of new stories and beloved classics, Blasphemy
, was included on Kirkus Reviews
, The New York Times
, and NPR’s
lists of 2012’s best books.
Forbes proclaimed Alexie’s latest New York Times Best Seller, Thunder Boy Jr, “a new classic.” In its starred review, Kirkus called it “an expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son.” Thunder Boy Jr. was also listed as one of the Best Picture Books of 2016 by Publishers Weekly.
In 1998, Alexie wrote and produced the film Smoke Signals, which won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. He made his directorial debut with 2002’s The Business of Fancydancing. Alexie is also a co-host on the popular podcast series A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment with best-selling author Jess Walter.
While working on sequels to both The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie is also working with Temple Hill (The Fault in our Stars) and producers Donners’ Company (Deadpool) on the film adaption of True Diary of a Part-time Indian, with Hugh Jackman signing on to play in a supporting role.
Alexie received Washington State University’s Highest Alumni Award, recognizing the importance of his Native American voice to a broad audience, the Katherine Anne Porter Award in Literature, and Pushcart Prize. He was awarded a 2014 Literature Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.