December 13 2017
The Life of Sherman Alexie
Have you ever heard of Sherman Alexie? Well he is an amazing author and poet who has won many awards and captivates many people with his eye opening stories. His childhood was rough because he lived on an Indian reservation where the environment was not a good example. The situation of the reservation was very depressing and he wanted to leave. Sherman Alexie is a hero in my eyes because I am inspired by how he was honest about challenging and touchy topics and how he showed courage to stand up for what is right and how he accomplished this despite enduring struggles of opposition against people.
Sherman Alexie was born in 1966 on an Indian reservation called Spokane in Wellpinit, Washington. He was one of six children in his household. When he was only five years old he read “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. He was born with a disease called hydrocephalus and went through seizures as a result of his surgery. He went to this surgery at 6 months of age and was not expected to survive during that surgery. The reservation he was raised in was a tough environment for a kid. There was abuse of alcohol in the reservation even by his own parents followed by death and poverty. He wanted the chance to get out of the reservation to find a better life and education.
At first Sherman Alexie went to school on a reservation and later went to high school in Reardan which at the time was an all white school. He was bullied and ridiculed because of his race. He went through different stages of depression because his grandma, sister, and his uncle died at very close times. His closest friend hated him for going to Reardan high school. He felt that Sherman was a traitor for going to an all white school. When he was older he suffered from addiction to alcohol. Later he overcame this challenge.
Sherman Alexie has won many awards for his poetry and novels. He also went into screenplay and a hit film called “Smoke Signals”. He has some very respected poetry pieces like Business of Fancy Dancing and First Indian on the Moon as well as Summer of Black Widows, short fiction like The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and The Toughest Indian in the World. He has won many awards such as the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, the World Heavyweight Poetry Championship and has also been labeled the The New Yorker’s “Future of American Fiction”. He was also interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.
Sherman Alexie had many struggles as well as achievements. He started out with a harsh environment that came with many struggles. Later he achieved many things while opposing opposition from people while having courage. He is a great example of a hero in my eyes and he is a good example that you can always change your future.
- American Indian Education Fund: Notable Native Americans. http://www.nativepartnership.org
- Kathleen Kuiper: Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed August 18, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sherman-Alexie
- Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/sherman-alexie. Accessed 2010.
- Mark Flanagan: Thought Co. A Look at The Life of Sherman Alexie https://www.thoughtco.com/profile-of-sherman-alexie-851449 Accessed September 27 2017
Teresa Hemsath: The Entrepreneurial wife: The Life and Accomplishments of Poet, Sherman Alexie; a brutally honest, funny, and poignant writer. https://theentrepreneurialwife.com/2013/03/19/sherman_alexie/