I discovered that one of my favorite writers, Sherman Alexie, will be at the Texas Book Festival in Austin next weekend. That makes it time for a road trip! As a bonus, The Onion will also be there. (Can we elect a ruling council of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and The Onion for president? I smell a write-in campaign coming on. Based on what I’ve seen in the news lately, we could elect an actual onion and be better off than with the knuckleheads running for leadership. But I digress, as usual.)
I discovered Alexie years ago when I was forced to read his second novel, Indian Killer, for a class. Turned out to be a fantastic book. There’s a structure to the book and certain themes about the characters that reminded me strongly of comic books, and when I brought up the possibility to my teacher she was a bit mystified at first. But the presence of a character, a little boy, in the book wearing Daredevil pajamas was enough to get my “out of the box” cylinders firing (anything involving Daredevil fires my cylinders, but that’s a whole other post). We worked on it a bit together and ended up coming up with (I believe) a completely new interpretation of the novel. We were supposed to co-author a paper about it, but it fell through when she left the university unexpectedly. Actually, I think she still has my copies of the first Astro City and Preacher trades, heh.
Anyway, I highly recommend any of his books. Also, the film Smoke Signals was based on his work and worth a view. I haven’t had a chance to see The Business of Fancydancing yet.
It feels odd to be so pasty and be such a big fan of an American Indian’s work.
Update: I have discovered that the hardcover version of Indian Killer is out of print. O cruel fate! My battered paperback is a poor offering for an autograph. I’ll have to hit up the used bookstores this week and see if I can find one.