The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Jane Monteagle
Student, MFA

Although a novel, about Junior growing up on a Spokane Indian reservation, I would suggest this work is heavily autobiographical. If it isn’t, it read that way for me to the point that at times I could ‘hear’ Alexie telling the story, as if we were in conversation.
This caused me to reflect upon my own process of storytelling i.e. writing. Now, if I were to tell the same story verbally it would be different, perhaps even to the point that it would become another story altogether. In making this distinction I developed a preference for what I perceive as a more relaxed, verbal process writing down my story. Now, instead of writing the words that arrive silently inside my head when I sit to write, I begin by talking the story out and committing those words to the page.
I love a novel with pictures. Part-Time Indian has pictures, hand drawn ones that cause you to read between the lines. It’s an inspiring read, given Junior’s courage, transformative, because for the length of the book I was forced out of my white skin, and edifying in that I now know a lot more about being othered.
__________
“Teens buying books at fastest rate in decades: New ‘golden age of young adult literature’ declared.” seattlepi
Sherman Alexie.
Who Is Sherman Alexie? Santa Rosa Junior College

One thought on “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

  1. thanks for the article about teen book sales, Lisa. That’s encouraging for those of us writing in that genre.

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