Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sherman Alexie, the Author Who Writes Epically Long Titles and Has Jay Leno Hair

Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" is this year's pick for All Pueblo Reads.

That means that I got to see one of my very favorite authors live, in person on Sunday when he did a library-sponsored talk. The talk was great. He's a very good speaker and his personality and sense of humor in person are very much in the same vein as in his books, which I largely adore. (With one or two exceptions, but, you know, nobody's perfect)

I brought a copy of my the first Sherman Alexie book I ever read, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" and now it's got his signature in it. How awesome is that?

It was impressive, as he talked, to see just how much of the featured book was autobiographical. He talked about events and characters from the book and the events and characters they were based on, which was fun. Also cool was when he started talking about the idea of "crossing the waters," of making a journey to a new land. He was very poetic about it, describing it in terms of the human quest to go and seek out new places. To paraphrase:

"We are travelers, we humans. We started out in Africa and started walking. We've been walking ever since. Anyone who denies that journey denies the very essence of humanity."

I'm glad I picked him as one of my major writing heroes. He's very cool. And, he gets bonus points for having to apologize to one of the audience members for calling her a zombie.


Marie D-W said...

I loved the line about humans being travelers from Africa onward. Very cool- never thought about it quite like that. But memorable.

Debbie said...

So glad he lived up to expectations. Sorry I had to miss it.