This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 7, 2017: Elegy

October 7, 2017: birthday: Sherman Alexie

Today is the birthday of Sherman Alexie (1966) (books by this author), a Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-American novelist, short-story writer, poet, and filmmaker. He’s best-known for his short-story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), about two friends named Victor Joseph and Thomas Builds-the-Fire, and his young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), which is loosely based on his childhood growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and which was an international best-seller. The book is frequently banned for its depiction of poverty, alcoholism, and child abuse. When asked about controversy surrounding the book, Alexie said: “I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as 10 have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book, that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I’ve ever read.”