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63+ Works 27,675 Members 1,324 Reviews 151 Favorited

About the Author

Sherman J. Alexie Jr. was born on October 7, 1966. His mother was Spokane Indian and his father was Coeur d'Alene Indian. Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. He decided to attend high school off the reservation where he knew he would get a better education. He show more was the only Indian at the school, and excelled academically as well as in sports. After high school, he attended Gonzaga University for two years before transferring to Washington State University, where he graduated with a degree in American studies. He received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992. His collections of poetry included The Business of Fancydancing, First Indian on the Moon, The Summer of Black Widows, One Stick Song, and Face. His first collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, received a PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. His other short story collections included The Toughest Indian in the World, Ten Little Indians, and War Dances. His first novel, Reservation Blues, received the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and the Murray Morgan Prize. His other novels included Indian Killer, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Flight. He won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction in 2018 for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir. Alexie and Jim Boyd, a Colville Indian, collaborated on the album Reservation Blues, which contains the songs from the book of the same name. In 1997, Alexie collaborated with Chris Eyre, a Cheyenne/Arapaho Indian, on a film project inspired by Alexie's work, This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, from the short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Smoke Signals debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998, winning two awards: the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy. In 1999 the film received a Christopher Award. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photo © Susan Sheridan

Works by Sherman Alexie

Reservation Blues (1995) — Lyrics, Coyote Springs songs — 2,050 copies
Flight (2007) 1,645 copies
Indian Killer (1996) 1,386 copies
Ten Little Indians (2003) 1,295 copies
War Dances (2009) 861 copies
Thunder Boy Jr. (2016) 749 copies
First Indian on the Moon (1993) 179 copies
One Stick Song (2000) 164 copies
The Summer of Black Widows (1996) 162 copies
Smoke Signals: A Screenplay (1998) 157 copies
Face (2009) 113 copies
Old Shirts & New Skins (1993) 113 copies
The Best American Poetry 2015 (2015) — Editor — 91 copies
Smoke Signals [1998 film] (1993) — Author — 84 copies
The man who loves salmon (1998) 15 copies
Dangerous Astronomy (2005) 14 copies
Salmon Boy 3 copies
Three Poems 1 copy
Matador Indio (1998) 1 copy
Over ruggen van zalmen (2015) 1 copy
Happy trails 1 copy

Associated Works

McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (2002) — Contributor — 1,451 copies
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 1,115 copies
The Living Dead (2008) — Contributor — 900 copies
Heart Berries: A Memoir (2018) — Introduction, some editions — 846 copies
Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (2003) — Contributor — 759 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 743 copies
The Best American Short Stories 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 548 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 319 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 (2010) — Contributor — 298 copies
100 Years of The Best American Short Stories (2015) — Contributor — 267 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1994 (1994) — Contributor — 234 copies
Granta 54: Best of Young American Novelists (1996) — Contributor — 233 copies
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Contributor — 205 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 196 copies
The Best American Poetry 1996 (1996) — Contributor — 169 copies
The Best American Poetry 1997 (1997) — Contributor — 166 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 151 copies
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (2008) — Contributor — 122 copies
The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection (2018) — Contributor — 94 copies
The Best American Poetry 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 84 copies
Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today (2005) — Contributor — 83 copies
The Best American Poetry 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 79 copies
The Best American Poetry 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 78 copies
The Best American Poetry 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 74 copies
Earth Song, Sky Spirit (1993) — Contributor — 66 copies
Eddie and the Cruisers (1980) — Introduction, some editions — 60 copies
Song of the Turtle: American Indian Literature 1974-1994 (1996) — Contributor — 59 copies
Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures (2006) — Contributor, some editions — 56 copies
McSweeney's Issue 50 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2017) — Contributor — 51 copies
Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2005) — Contributor — 37 copies
Birds in the Hand: Fiction and Poetry about Birds (2004) — Contributor — 32 copies
Without Reservation: Indigenous Erotica (2003) — Contributor — 25 copies
A Good Man: Fathers and Sons in Poetry and Prose (1993) — Contributor — 20 copies
Indian Country (2001) — Introduction, some editions — 19 copies
Skins: Contemporary Indigenous Writing (2000) — Contributor — 18 copies
Selected Shorts: New American Stories (2011) — Contributor — 16 copies
Visit teepee town : native writings after the detours (1999) — Contributor — 11 copies
Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry (1994) — Contributor — 6 copies
Humor Me: An Anthology of Humor by Writers of Color (2002) — Contributor — 4 copies
Winter in the Blood [2013 film] (2015) — Producer — 2 copies
Hebbes 4 — Contributor — 2 copies


alcoholism (426) American (181) American Indian (238) American literature (276) anthology (1,113) basketball (339) coming of age (388) death (164) essays (181) family (251) fantasy (198) fiction (3,647) friendship (267) high school (283) horror (199) humor (461) identity (197) Indian (177) literature (348) memoir (259) multicultural (160) Native American (1,635) Native American Literature (253) Native Americans (908) non-fiction (305) novel (306) poetry (1,004) poverty (297) racism (257) read (344) realistic fiction (274) reservation (202) short stories (1,988) signed (224) Spokane (206) to-read (1,828) unread (193) YA (616) young adult (701) young adult fiction (161)

Common Knowledge



November 2017: Sherman Alexie in Monthly Author Reads (October 2021)
(M101'12) The Business of Fancydancing, Sherman Alexie in World Reading Circle (January 2013)


What am amazing collection. I've never read an author so able to walk a tightrope between humor, sadness, and pop culture references in my life. The man is a treasure.
JuntaKinte1968 | 42 other reviews | Dec 6, 2023 |
This book is about a Native American young man who is navigating a new school while still trying to keep his identity.
Amyshubby | 787 other reviews | Dec 6, 2023 |
Wow! I really enjoyed this unusual memoir. Unusual in that half of it was his heartfelt poetry (I liked it!) and t have never heard of him before.
He is a Spokane Indian growing up on the "Rez". He is tortured by his unresolved relationship with his mother (now dead). Another associated issue was his mother and grandmother were apparently the result of a rape. A lot of pain, grief and trauma was revealed in these pages.
camplakejewel | 47 other reviews | Nov 14, 2023 |
Still not sure this is a fair rating. I would definitely recommend this book to a middle schooler, but not to another adult - no matter how much they liked YA.
mmparker | 787 other reviews | Oct 24, 2023 |


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