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Author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry, and think through his semi-autobiographical writings. One of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers of the 21st century, Alexie was described by Men’s Journal as “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.” His National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and spent over 280 weeks on the bestseller list. Now in its tenth year, The Absolutely True Diary has garnered seven starred reviews, has sold over 2,000,000 copies, and was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by TIME.
Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, but it wasn’t until a college professor recognized his “intensity of language, passion, and energy” that he fully committed to writing. Shortly after, his first books of poetry were published, and he began developing into a gifted orator, telling tales of contemporary American Indian life with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor, and biting wit.
His novels, such as Reservation Blues, Indian Killer, and The Toughest Indian in the World, have won numerous awards and accolades, including Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, and Publishers Weekly’s Book of the Year. Thunder Boy Jr, Alexie’s New York Times bestselling-picture book, was proclaimed “a new classic” by Forbes and listed as one the Best Picture Books of the year by Publishers Weekly.
His latest New York Times bestseller, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, won the 2018 Carnegie Medal for literary excellence in nonfiction. Kirkus Reviews called it “A powerful, brutally honest memoir about a mother and the son who loved her.”
In 1998, Alexie wrote and produced the film Smoke Signals, which won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. He made his directorial debut with 2002’s The Business of Fancydancing. Alexie is also a co-host on the popular podcast series A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment with best-selling author Jess Walter.
While working on sequels to both The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie is also working with Temple Hill (The Fault in our Stars) and producers Donners’ Company (Deadpool) on the film adaption of True Diary of a Part-time Indian, with Hugh Jackman signing on to play in a supporting role.
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 was awarded a 2014 Literature Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been interviewed on a variety of programs, including PBS' NewsHour, The Colbert Report, Tavis Smiley, and NPR’s Fresh Air.