Donna Seaman, of Booklist, wrote, “…mischievously and mordantly funny, scathingly forthright, deeply and universally compassionate, and wholly magnetizing. This is a must-have collection.” regarding Sherman Alexie’s new book Blasphemy. I find the comment noteworthy as I would say the first sentence not only describes Alexie’s writings but also his personality.
Tuesday, November 13th, SLIS students and members of the TLAM student group traveled to Milwaukee to see Sherman Alexie speak at the Milwaukee Public Library. The event was free, open to the public, and well worth the visit. A Milwaukee librarian and local bookseller introduced Alexie to a full auditorium. Then he began speaking, first about his recent visit to Minneapolis, then about missing his flight to Milwaukee, and finally about getting a flight only to realize his baggage was routed elsewhere. Needless to say the story was filled with humor and the realities of everyday life, all the while using an array of colorful language.
After telling the audience about his last few days he read from one of the short stories in his new book, Blasphemy. Finally the audience was able to ask questions before his time came to a close. Several questions were responded to and Alexie even laughed at one of his own jokes, it was truly that funny. He ended things off with a poem. Then it was a waiting game as we stayed to get our books signed.
This was my first time seeing Sherman Alexie and I’d definitely see him again. I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed as much at an author event. His writings (those I’ve read) and his personality truly match and combine into a wonderful presentation of humor and truth. I was unaware he wrote as much poetry as he does however with his comment of poetry being his favorite thing to write I’ll be looking for more within the genre. When it comes to novels, he replied they are his marathons, something take him the longest to execute. I will definitely be increasing my poetry and fiction reading lists with a lot more from Alexie. After all, when he signed my book he wrote “Librarians are awesome”.
He is one of the great voices of our time and is worth your time and consideration. If you haven’t read anything by Sherman Alexie or are unfamiliar with him, check him out at http://www.fallsapart.com/index/. I personally would highly recommend The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.