Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr

June 16, 2012

Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966) is a poet, writer, filmmaker, and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a Native American growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington.[1]

His combinations of poetry, short stories, novels, and films have won several awards. Some of his best known works are The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1994), a book of short stories, and Smoke Signals (1998), a film of his screenplay based on The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

His first novel, Reservation Blues, received one of the fifteen 1996 American Book Awards.[2] His first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, is a semi-autobiographical novel that won the 2007 U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature[3] and the Odyssey Award as best 2008 audiobook for young people (read by Alexie).[4] His collection of short stories and poems, entitled War Dances, won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.[5]

In 2005, Alexie became a founding Board Member of Longhouse Media, a non-profit organization that is committed to teaching filmmaking skills to Native American youth, and to use media for cultural expression and social change. Mr. Alexie has long supported youth programs and initiatives dedicated to uplifting at-risk Native youth.[13]

Alexie is married to Diane Tomhave, who is of Hidatsa, Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi heritage. They live in Seattle with their two sons.[12]

 

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