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Face Paperback – April 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hanging Loose Press (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931236704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931236706
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Brash, confrontational verse and prose have made Alexie the most famous, and the most controversial, Native American writer of his generation. Alexie (First Indian on the Moon), in this first book of poems since 2000, sometimes works in sonnets, rhymed couplets, short quatrains, even villanelles. The results are mixed and occasionally naïve (When I tell my wife about my adolescent rage/ She shrugs, rolls her eyes, and turns the page). More successful are his many experiments with footnotes and interpolated blocks of prose within poems, devices that let Alexie explore his self-consciousness, as he looks back on his childhood on the rez in Washington State, inward to his sex life and his happy marriage, and outward to public events, from the Clinton impeachment to Gonzaga University basketball. Alexie's self-interruptions also permit flights of comedy, with homages to Richard Pryor and to the porn star Ron Jeremy. The humor, in turn, lets Alexie brace himself for his most serious subjects: his love for his son, the history of his people and the last illness and death of his father, a flawed but durable example of the manliness for which Alexie so often strives. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Alexie is not an overtly poetic poet. His tone is conversational, his language plain. But his high-beam insights are provoking, and his humor irreverent. It’s exciting to read Alexie in this more concentrated form, liberated from the demands of his spiky fiction, including the shape-shifting tale Flight (2007) and his National Book Award–winning young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007). But his storytelling impulse is irrepressible. His poems have a narrative drive; he slips into prose and fringes his poetry with bemusing footnotes. Ironic and audacious, Alexie makes fun of himself, expresses love for his wife, remembers his father, and marvels over his sons. He writes of blood, mirth, anger,  patriotism, pretension, sex, the fruitful collision of cultures, and calcified ideas about what it means to be a Native American, a writer, a man, a human being. Skirmishes with insects and animals illuminate our conflicts over nature, and musings about the toll of creativity inspire poems about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Richard Pryor. A bountiful, keen, and inspiriting collection. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I have read this out loud to my great nephew (12) and he loves the book.
Sarah S. White
Alexie has a unique approach to crafting his poems, and as poetry should, they touch the heart, they provide a chuckle, they reflect the humanity of us all.
Jeanne Nelson
Reading the majority of Alexie's work, this is, in my opinion, the best poetry/prose he has ever written.
M. Francis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. O. Aptowicz on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
There has always been something disarmingly grounded about Sherman Alexie's utterly enjoyable poetry. From the first poem til the last in any of his collections, Alexie invites the reader to walk beside him as an equal. Whether he is exploring his own past, his country's political present or his fevered visions of the future, Alexie flips over the subject as many times as it takes to showcase all the sides and isn't afraid to use every tool he's got.

"Face," Alexie's latest collection of poetry, absolutely continues this tradition, with challenging, emotionally honest work that is daring, and funny, and human. As a writer, I am constantly impressed by how subtly the poems can change -- starting out firmly anchored in one perspective, and just as the reader begins to understand where things are going, Alexie flips on light within the poem to show you what even he didn't know was hidden.

And although Alexie has published over a dozen poetry books previously (as well as a half dozen books of fiction and several screenplays), he still approaches the page with a fantastic sense of play and wonder. I always enjoy how in his books fresh takes at form poetry rub shoulders with narrative prose poems which sink into the couch with clever and devasting free verse. In this book, Alexie experiments with the use of footnotes -- allowing the reader to explore the same text several times with increasingly levels of information, which has an effect that is sometimes funny and sometimes jarring. He charms and riffs, but he doesn't ever take his eyes off your heart.

This book just serves as further evidence of why Alexie is such an important and unrelentingly influential voice in contemporary American writing. Let's just hope he doesn't wait so long before putting out his next poetry collection!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on May 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very powerful book about fathers and sons, the father that Sherman Alexie has lost and the sons he is fathering. The first poem describes the interplay between a father protecting his fragile newborn son from losing sleep from the noise of a bird's nest in the eaves and the guilt and sympathetic pain he feels with the "scree-scree-scree" the starling parent makes on discovering the nest and the baby birds are gone.

"We will never know how this winged mother
And father would have buried their children.
Our son almost died at birth. His mother
And I would have buried him in silence."

I was hooked on the book from that first poem.

The other thing that I loved about this book was the poems with footnotes. Somehow that intrigued me. The brevity and intensity of a poem, but things needed further explanation. Fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Francis on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully honest prose and poetry. Humor and reality all mixed into one. Reading the majority of Alexie's work, this is, in my opinion, the best poetry/prose he has ever written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Patterson on July 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sherman shares both his tears and laughter in another volume of intensely relevant poetry. You can't help but gain insight into his psche and hopefully yours. He's always at his best no matter what form of creativity he employees.
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By kristi on January 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of the Alexie fans and this did not disappoint me! It is filled with the humor, cleverness, and Alexie-vulgarisms that one comes to expect from this Spokane. I had intended to use it as a supplemental classroom text but decided to specially choose the selections that I wanted to use due to the maturity of content and the "too-controversial-for-the-South" vulgarity.
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By Amazon Customer on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I choose my readings based on the talent of the writer, period. Some may think character is important, however, most of us stay with talent. I am getting the hardcover today and I hope to enjoy his work as much as I have enjoyed his interviews. Cheers!
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By Kenso on October 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Early Sherman Alexie is very strong. Start with his earliest work, such as this title and work around it a bit. His recent stuff is a bit stiff and stilted; the early stuff is far from it.
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