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Blasphemy: New and Selected Storiesby Sherman Alexie
Synopses & Reviews
A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases his many talents in Blasphemy, where he unites fifteen beloved classics with sixteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” in which a homeless Indian man quests to win back a family heirloom; This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” a road-trip morality tale; The Toughest Indian in the World,” about a night shared between a writer and a hitchhiker; and his most recent, War Dances,” about a man grappling with sudden hearing loss in the wake of his fathers death. Alexies new stories are fresh and quintessential, about donkey basketball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four-hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.
An indispensable Alexie collection, Blasphemy reminds us, on every thrilling page, why Alexie is one of our greatest contemporary writers and a true master of the short story.
"Alexie once again reasserts himself as one the most compelling contemporary practitioners of the short story. In Blasphemy, the author demonstrates his talent on nearly every page. . . . Will appeal to fans of Junot Diaz, George Saunders, and readers new to Alexie will find this enriching collection to be the perfect introduction to a formidable literary voice. . . . [Alexie] illuminates the lives of his characters in unique, surprising, and, ultimately, hopeful ways." Boston Globe
"Told in [Alexie's] irreverent, unforgettable voice . . . You'll feel you've been transported inside the soul of a deeply wounded people. But they are a people too comfortable in their brown skins to allow those wounds to break them. . . . With irony and sardonic wit, the Native men and women in Alexie's imagination find a way forward, and they endure. . . . [A] great triumph." Los Angeles Times
"Tough, warmhearted, rowdy, and moving....Alexie's achievement here is his depiction of the tangled complexities of race — that great open secret of American life — in an undidactic and utterly natural way." The Washington Post
"If literary fiction in its purest form is meant to be an accurate reflection of human experience and its inevitable ambiguities, Alexie skillfully offers us this in Blasphemy. . . . What Alexie makes poignantly clear in the stories he has written in his long and robust career is that we cannot choose whom we fall in love with, nor can we choose who, fundamentally, we are." San Francisco Chronicle
"In these comfort-zone-destroying tales, including the masterpiece, 'War Dances,' his characters grapple with racism, damaging stereotypes, poverty, alcoholism, diabetes, and the tragic loss of languages and customs. Questions of authenticity and identity abound....Alexie writes with arresting perception in praise of marriage, in mockery of hypocrisy, and with concern for endangered truths and imperiled nature. He is mischievously and mordantly funny, scathingly forthright, deeply and universally compassionate, and wholly magnetizing. This is a must-have collection." Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
"[A] sterling collection of short stories by Alexie, a master of the form....The newer pieces are full of surprises....These pieces show Alexie at his best: as an interpreter and observer, always funny if sometimes angry, and someone, as a cop says of one of his characters, who doesn't 'fit the profile of the neighborhood.'" Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Alexie hammers away at ever-simmering issues, like racism, addiction, and infidelity, using a no-holds-barred approach and seamlessly shattering the boundary between character and reader. But while these glimpses into a harried and conflicted humanity prod our consciousness, there's plenty of bawdiness and Alexie's signature wicked humor throughout to balance out the weight." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Told with his hallmark wit and candor [Blasphemy] captures the splendors of [Alexie's] considerable talent." Kit Mauldin, Portland Monthly
About the Author
Alexie is a poet, novelist, and screenwriter. He has won the Pen/Faulkner Award, Stranger Genius Award in Literature, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Literature, and the Malamud Award.
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