Old Shirts & New Skins (Native American, No 9)

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9780935626360: Old Shirts & New Skins (Native American, No 9)

Poetry. Native American Studies. Amongst the poems and prose of OLD SHIRTS & NEW SKINS appear illustrations by Elizabeth Woody, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. In the best tradition of confronting American reality and exacting vision and meaning from it, Sherman Alexie chooses to use poetic power. His vision is an amazing celebration of endurance, intimacy, love, and creative insight; finally, it is a victory that can be known only by a people who refuse to submit to the thieves, liars, and killers that have made them suffer tremendous loss and pain. "Like the woman who pours her life into a stew of survival, Sherman Alexie has created a meal, not for a reader to consume but for a reader to be changed by. Survival is being documented, changes measured"—Linda Hogan.

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About the Author:

Sherman Alexie's poems, fiction, essays and films have won him an international following since his first book, THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING, was published in 1992. SMOKE SIGNALS, the film he adapted from one of his short stories and co-produced, enlarged his audience still further. Alexie's awards include the Stranger Genius Award in Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature in Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature as well as honors and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Foundation, and a citation as "One of 20 Best American Novelists Under the Age of 40" from Granta magazine. An enrolled Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, Alexie lives in Seattle with his wife and sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

Alexie ( The Business of Fancydancing ) here emerges as a Native poet of the first order. He captures the full range of modern Native experience, writing both with anger and with great affection and humor. Detailing the continuing deprivation and colonialism, the poet pointedly asks, "Am I the garbageman of your dreams?" and defines Native "economics": "risk" is playing poker with cash and then passing out at powwow. Focusing on the Leonard Peltier case, Alexie exposes the ineffectualness of both white Indian-lovers and some Native leaders in "The Marlon Brando Memorial Swimming Pool": "Peltier goes blind in Leavenworth . . . / and Brando sits, fat and naked, by the Pacific ocean. There was never / any water in the damn thing. " General Custer is allowed to give an accounting of himself, as Alexie links genocide of America's indigenous peoples with Vietnam, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and other acts of warfare and destruction. Alexie writes comfortably in a variety of styles. Many of the poems turn on grim irony, putting the author himself in the traditional role of the trickster. Adrian Louis provides a powerful foreword, and Elizabeth Woody's moody illustrations add to the volume's impact.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Sherman Alexie
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