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Celebrating the Life

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

[Longhorn Review] The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Material Type: All, books — Tags: bittersweet, native americans — Posted on November 10, 2008, 10:20 am

By: Alexie, Sherman

Alexie's first Young Adult title won him the National Book Award for Young
People's Literature last year. My 11-year old daughter described this book as, "very
funny and sad at the same time," which we adults somtimes call "bittersweet." But
what narrative of Native American life, historical or modern, would not be tinged
with sadness? Alexie, who is of Spokane heritage, writes with humor and poignancy
about his anti-hero, Arnold Spirit, born hydrocephalic who happens to have a great
jump shot, and a number of odd friends and relations. Life on and off the "res," and
the shifting boudaries between modern Native American and Anglo culture are deftly
explored. This book is not preachy at all, but there are lessons here for all of

Reviewer: Tim Strawn

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