The Author

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SHERMAN ALEXIE
 

was named one of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century. The New York Times Book Review described him as “one of the major lyric voices of our time,” and Men’s Journal called him “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.”

After growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, Alexie made a conscious decision to attend high school off the reservation in Reardan, WA, about 20 miles south of Wellpinit, where he knew he would get a better education. In 1985 Alexie graduated Reardan High and went on to attend Gonzaga University in Spokane on scholarship. After two years at Gonzaga, he transferred to Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, WA. A college professor recognized Alexie’s "intensity of language, passion, and energy." A gifted orator, he tells tales of contemporary American Indian life laced with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor and biting wit.

Alexie planned to be a doctor and enrolled in pre-med courses at WSU, but after fainting numerous times in human anatomy class, he realized he needed to change his career path. That change was fueled when he stumbled into a poetry workshop at WSU. Encouraged by poetry teacher Alex Kuo, Alexie excelled at writing and realized he'd found his new path. Shortly after graduating WSU with a BA in American Studies, Alexie received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992.

In 1997, Alexie embarked on artistic collaboration with Chris Eyre, a Cheyenne/Arapaho Indian, discovered Alexie's writing while doing graduate work at New York University's film school, on a film project inspired by Alexie's work. The basis for the screenplay was "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," a short story from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Released as Smoke Signals at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998, the movie won two awards: the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy.

In 1998, he participated with seven others in the PBS Lehrer NewsHour “Dialogue on Race” with President Clinton. The discussion was moderated by Jim Lehrer and originally aired on PBS on July 9, 1998. Alexie has also been featured on Politically Incorrect, 60 Minutes II, and NOW with Bill Moyers, for which he wrote a special segment on insomnia and his writing process called "Up All Night."

In February 2003, Alexie participated in the Museum of Tolerance project, "Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves," an exhibit showcasing the diversity within the personal histories of several noted Americans, and celebrating the shared experiences common to being part of an American family, encouraging visitors to seek out their own histories, mentors and heroes. This project was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, "Our Big American Family with Billy Crystal and Dr. Maya Angelou," which originally aired in January 2003, and on which Alexie was a guest.

Alexie was the guest editor for the Winter 2000-01 issue of Ploughshares, a prestigious literary journal. He was a 1999 O. Henry Award Prize juror, was one of the judges for the 2000 inaugural PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award, and a juror for both the Poetry Society of America's 2001 Shelley Memorial Award and the Poets and Writers "Writers Exchange 2001" Contest. He most recently was a juror for the 2005 Rae Award, and has served as a mentor in the PEN Emerging Writers program.

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 released Blasphemy, an anthology of new stories and beloved classics, in October 2012. Shortly thereafter, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, and NPR all included Blasphemy in their lists of the top books of 2012. He was recently awarded a 2014 Literature Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His 24th book, What I've Stolen, What I've Earned, a collection of poems, was released in November 2013.




AUTHOR DAY: Thursday, October 16, 2014!

 
Q&A and Discussion for Learning Communities:

"Native American Repatriation"

Students from the Sac State Academic Learning Communities are invited a special presentation where distinguished faculty and members of the community will speak about varying issues regarding Native American repatriation. Each panelist will present short commentaries and then engage with the audience in a Q&A.   

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: 10 am
Location: Ballroom, University Union

For more information, please contact UNIQUE at (916) 278-6997. To find out more about UNIQUE, please click here.



Mid-Day Reading and Campus Lecture by Sherman Alexie

"Sherman Alexie: A Reading from Blasphemy"

Sherman Alexie will read from his collection of short stories, Blasphemy, which unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers, including some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” “The Toughest Indian in the World,” and his most recent, “War Dances,” along with Alexie’s new stories about donkey basket­ball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.

Book signing immediately following. 

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: noon
Location: Ballroom, University Union

For more information, please contact UNIQUE at (916) 278-6997. To find out more about UNIQUE, please click here.


Public Reading and Lecture by Sherman Alexie

"An Evening with Sherman Alexie"

Sherman Alexie reads from Blasphemy, a collection of short stories uniting fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included are some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” “The Toughest Indian in the World,” and his most recent, “War Dances,” along with Alexie’s new stories about donkey basket­ball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.

Book signing immediately following. 

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Ballroom, University Union
Parking: Free in Structure II between 6-10 pm.

For more information, please contact UNIQUE at (916) 278-6997. To find out more about UNIQUE, please click here.


More about the author


To find out more about Mr. Alexie, please visit his website at Falls Apart.

Accessibility


All author day events are accessible for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The public evening lecture is accompanied by a sign language interpreter.

Blasphemy will be available in accessible formats from the office of Services to Students with Disabilities High Tech Center (SSWD) through Bookshare.org (free membership for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities). Please contact SSWD at sswd@csus.edu or (916) 278-6955 or (916) 278-7239 (TTY) for assistance.