Synopses & Reviews
Sherman Alexie is one of today's most captivating and popular writers The Nation
has called him "a master of language, writing beautifully, unsparingly, and straight to the heart." Now, with Ten Little Indians
, he offers nine poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heart-rending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and who they love.
What kind of Indian loses her mind over a book of poems? Well, Corliss was that kind of Indian, she was exactly that kind of Indian, and it was the only kind of Indian she knew how to be. In Alexie's first story, "The Search Engine," Corliss is a rugged and resourceful student who finds in books the magic she was denied while growing up poor. When she discovers the poetry of a fellow Native who vanished thirty years earlier after winning the Pulitzer Prize, she makes it her mission to find him. Although he does not prove to be the man Corliss needs him to be, his devastating story will help her in her own struggle to belong. In "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above," an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her to the bewilderment of her only child, now a grown man who looks back at his life with equal parts fondness, amusement, and regret. In "Do You Know Where I Am?" two college sweethearts rescue a lost cat a simple act that will affect the rest of their lives together. Finally, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" starts off with a homeless man recognizing in a pawnshop window the fancydance regalia that was stolen fifty years earlier from his late grandmother. As he tries to raise $1,000 in twenty-four hours to buy back the outfit, the narrator's misadventure combines bittersweet wit and touching earnestness as only this author can.
Even as they often make us laugh, Sherman Alexie's stories are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candor that cut to the heart of the human experience, shedding brilliant light on what happens when we grow into and out of ourselves, and each other. Ten Little Indians is a great new work from one of today's most original and highly regarded writers of fiction.
"A slam dunk collection sure to score with readers everywhere....Fluent, exuberant and supremely confident, this outstanding collection shows Alexie at the height of his powers." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Comedy, pathos, heartfelt characterizations, and agendas transformed into thoughtful narratives: Alexie's strongest book in years." Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)
"A funny, irreverent, sardonic but sentimental, rebellious voice....Alexie is the bad boy...mocking, self-mocking, unpredictable, unassimilable, reminding us of the young Philip Roth." Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books
"The world's first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American Indian superstar....There is an anger in Sherman Alexie's work that hasn't been seen since James Baldwin..." Bruce Barcott, Mens Journal
"Alexie reveals himself to be a more fearless writer than one might ever have imagined; the stories are bold, uncensored, raucous, and sexy....[E]ven the most culturally sheltered reader is transported." Ken Foster, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"Stunning...Alexie's prose contains the reverberations and human noise of the best Raymond Carver stories....Although Alexie's stories may taste like grief, they read like heaven." Mark Luce, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"My favorite kind of fiction is the kind that manages to be simultaneously smart, funny and sad....Sherman Alexie has produced nine stories of just this sort. Each has moments of wisdom. Each has moments of hilarity. Each carries us through moments of sadness." Karen Joy Fowler, The Washington Post
"The stories sometimes feel loose and ragged, but Alexie has the ability (and heart) to make even a brief, patchy sketch of a few choice moments resonate and move the reader. Recommended." Library Journal
"That Alexie writes not just well but astonishingly well at this rate makes one wonder if he's not some sort of Indian Charles Dickens....This book captures a few of [his] voices. Listen carefully. They've got stories to tell." John Freeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Three of the nine stories in Ten Little Indians are wonderful, which is as good a batting average as any writer can hope for....As good as his stories can be, they run the risk of staleness." Eric Weinberger, The New York Times Book Review
Alexie is one of the most acclaimed and popular writers today. Now, with Ten Little Indians, he offers 11 poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads.
About the Author
Alexie, who resides with his wife and two sons in Seattle, WA, has published 14 books to date, including his most recent collection of short stories, The Toughest Indian in the World, and his newly released poetry collection, One Stick Song.
Table of Contents
The Search Engine 6
Lawyer's League 66
Can I Get a Witness? 84
Do Not Go Gentle 100
Flight Patterns 106
The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above 129
Do You Know Where I Am? 156
What You Pawn I Will Redeem 175
What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church? 201