Sherman Alexie 's Childhood And Education

1896 WordsMay 2, 20178 Pages
Sherman Alexie’s childhood and education have had a profound effect on his writing and career. Being a Native American growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, Alexie has had to fight stereotypes and certain negative influences such as alcoholism and poverty his entire life. The reader can gain a better understanding of Alexie’s struggles and negative influences in his life through one of his poems, “Influences”, where he discusses the negative influences he faced with alcohol from his own parents. Sherman Alexie has had notable success as praised by Daniel Grassian, “…the picture of Alexie that emerges is one of a writer who is fiercely talented, intelligent, witty, and committed to helping readers understand contemporary Native…show more content…
In the early part of his career, he published a number of his works in the magazine Hanging Loose in 1990 (Overview – Sherman Alexie). At that time, he found the motivation to quit drinking and devoted himself to a writing career (Overview – Sherman Alexie). His first publication released in 1992 entitled, The Business of Fancydancing was a collection of short stories and poetry (Lewis). He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship ($20,000 which brought him recognition as a writer of short stories and poetry (Lewis). He went on to receive the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award ($105,000) for his work on an outreach project to organize writing workshops for Native peoples in Seattle in 1994 (Lewis). A major milestone was the release of his first novel in 1995, Reservation Blues, which won the American Book Award in 1996 (Overview – Sherman Alexie). He was further recognized with the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for recognition of a sequel to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and publication of poems in many journals (Lewis). Later in his career he became a filmmaker. He worked on a screenplay incorporating much of the material in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Overview – Sherman Alexie). Released in 1998, Smoke Signals was praised, winning both the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy
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