When the writer Sherman Alexie was a teenager he used to sell fireworks to white folks who came to the reservation where he lived. Now he untangles the strands of misguided myths and stereotypes that generations of Americans, including Indians themselves, have inherited. Indians aren’t busy guarding the earth or beating drums in the woods, he says. You’re more likely to find them watching TV, playing basketball, and living ordinary, if distinct, American lives.
It is that distinct part of contemporary Indian life that Alexie explores in his prolific storytelling. Since leaving the “rez” a decade ago Sherman Alexie has probed the faultlines of Indian identity in poetry, prose, and performance. And with the success of last year’s film “Smoke Signals”, which he wrote and co-produced, Alexie has firmly established himself as a kind of angry/witty ambassador of unromanticized Indian culture
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)