BIO

Author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie was named one of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century. The New York Times Book Review described him as “one of the major lyric voices of our time,” and Men’s Journal called him “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.”

After growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, a college professor recognized Alexie’s "intensity of language, passion, and energy." A gifted orator, he tells tales of contemporary American Indian life laced with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor and biting wit.

Alexie’s first novel, Reservation Blues, won Booklist’s Editors Choice Award for Fiction. His second, Indian Killer, was a New York Times Notable Book. The Toughest Indian in the World won the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the art of storytelling. Ten Little Indians was a national bestseller and Publishers Weekly Book of the Year.

His recent books include: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - a 2007 National Book Award winner in Young People’s Literature; the novel Flight; and Face, a collection of poems. His 2009 book of short stories, War Dances, won the PEN Faulkner Award.

Alexie wrote and produced the film, Smoke Signals, based on his book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film festival. In 2002 he made his directorial debut with The Business of Fancydancing. He is currently working on a sequel to The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven titled Fire with Fire and a sequel to True Diary called The Magic and Tragic Year of My Broken Thumb.

Alexie received Washington State University's Highest Alumni Award, recognizing the importance of his Native American voice to a broad audience, the Katherine Anne Porter Award in Literature, and Pushcart Prize. He released Blasphemy, an anthology of new stories and beloved classics, in October 2012. Shortly thereafter, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, and NPR all included Blasphemy in their lists of the top books of 2012. He was recently awarded a 2014 Literature Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His 24th book, What I've Stolen, What I've Earned, a collection of poems, was released in November 2013.

“Absolutely smashing! Beyond my wildest expectations. He had us all laughing for two hours. But beyond that, he changed people's thinking ---which is my goal for bringing people of his caliber here. Anyone who saw him will never be the same.”
-Bismarck State College