Presenter of the National Book Awards

2007 National Book Award Winner,
Young People's Literature

Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Little, Brown & Company

Photo © Rob Casey.

About the Book and Author

Based on the author’s own experiences, this heartbreaking yet funny story chronicles the adolescence of one contemporary Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he seems destined to live.

An award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman Alexie was named one of GRANTA’s Best Young American Novelists and has been lauded by the Boston Globe as “an important voice in American literature.” One of the most well-known and beloved literary writers of his generation, his works of fiction, including Reservation Blues and short story collections Ten Little Indians and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, have received numerous awards and citations. The Absolustely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is his first novel for young adults. He lives in Seattle.

Suggested Links

Author and book websites
http://www.fallsapart.com/

Publisher's website, with audio excerpts from the book
http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com

Excerpt from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I draw all the time.

I draw cartoons of my mother and father; my sister and grandmother; my best friend Rowdy; and everybody else on the rez.

I draw because words are too unpredictable.

I draw because words are too limited.

If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning.

But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it.

If I draw a cartoon of a flower, then every man, woman, and child in the world can look at it and say, “That’s a flower.”

So I draw because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.

I feel important with a pen in my hand. I feel like I might grow up to be somebody important. An artist. Maybe a famous artist. Maybe a rich artist.

That’s the only way I can become rich and famous.

Just take a look at the world. Almost all of the rich and famous brown people are artists. They’re singers and actors and writers and dancers and directors and poets.

So I draw because I feel like it might be my only real chance to escape the reservation.

I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.