Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Paperback – April 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"This is a gem of a book....may be [Sherman Alexie's] best work yet."―New York Times
"A Native American equivalent of Angela's Ashes."―(starred review), Publishers Weekly
"Sure to resonate and lift spirits of all ages for years to come."―USA Today
"Realistic and fantastical and funny and tragic-all at the same time."―(starred review), VOYA
"The line between dramatic monologue, verse novel, and standup comedy gets unequivocally-and hilariously and triumphantly-bent in this novel."―(starred review), Horn Book
"Nimbly blends sharp with unapologetic emotion....fluid narration deftly mingles raw feelings with funny, sardonic insight."―Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)
"Few writers are more masterful than Sherman Alexie."―Los Angeles Times
"Alexie's humor and prose are easygoing and well suited to his young audience."―Booklist
"Fierce observations and sharp sense of humor...hilarious language."―Newsday
"Breathtakingly honest, funny, profane, sad....will stay with readers."―(starred review), KLIATT
About the Author
A National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman has been named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists and has been lauded by The Boston Globe as "an important voice in American literature." He is one of the most well known and beloved literary writers of his generation, with works such as The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues and has received numerous awards and citations, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Fiction and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book hits home about the real world and real life among Native Americans. The options are: Stay on the Rez with the status quo or move out to "white man's land" and become part of that society. Covering as a light comedy, this book offers insight to the reader that isn't normally given. Sherman Alexie writes as though he's been there - that's because he has.
I was hooked immediately. The author made you feel like you were part of his world even though most us have never been closer to a reservation than seeing advertising for a casino on TV. I recommend this book to anyone with teenagers. They would benefit from seeing the perspective of someone they might not encounter in their everyday life and maybe reevaluate how they treat people from other cultures.
I enjoyed reading about Junior/Arnold's struggle to live with a foot in both worlds, although the gritty poverty Junior faces at home was often hard to digest. However, Junior's voice shines through with such humor that even the darkest passages are tempered with hope.
In “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” Alexie created an alter-ego, Arnold Spirit (a.k.a. “Junior) who lived on the Spokane “Rez.” Junior was fourteen-years-old at the time of this story, and he had already been to forty-two funerals in his relatively short lifetime. He noted in his diary that most of the deaths were the result of drinking, and he constantly struggled with the impact that alcohol had on his family, friends, and his tribe.
During the span of just a few pages in this novel, Junior chronicled the death of his beloved grandmother who never had a drink in her life but was run down by a drunk Indian as she was walking home from a powwow, the death of his dad’s best friend who was shot in the face and killed in a deadly disagreement with another Indian man over who should get the last drink in the bottle, and the deaths of his older sister and her husband who were passed out drunk in their small trailer and burned to death when someone at their party turned on a hotplate to warm some soup and then forgot to turn it off.
Junior also understood how poverty shaped the lives of him and his friends. Sometimes there was food to eat, sometimes there wasn’t. Sometimes there was gas for his father to take him to school, and sometimes he had to walk and hitchhike. Some years there was money for Christmas gifts, and other years they had to do without – while his father slumped off in shame to get drunk on what little money they did have.
But as imperfect as Junior’s parents might have been – and his father was plenty imperfect – Junior also understood that they loved him. He remarked in the diary that his parents were always in attendance at any school function or game in which he was a participant, and he also noted that some of the white parents (at a school he would later attend) would routinely skip their kids’ programs and games. While life did not deal Junior the best of hands, he recognized the good things and did not wallow in self-pity.
Junior was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid on the brain and had to undergo surgeries and special care as a child. After that rough start, however, he developed into an intelligent boy who liked to read, write, draw cartoons, and play basketball. When he was fourteen he was challenged by a teacher to look beyond the Rez and make something of himself. It was at that point that Junior decided, almost on a whim, that he wanted to leave the Rez school and travel twenty-two miles down the road to a school that was almost entirely white.
It was the move to the new school, Reardan, that led Junior to regard himself as a “part-time” Indian. He was Indian when he was on the Rez, and white when he was at Reardan. Many of his friends on the Rez, such as his best friend, Rowdy, turned their backs on him and regarded him as a traitor to his Indian ethnicity, while, as the outsider at Reardan, it took considerable effort on Junior’s part for him to begin to fit in.
One develops the notion while reading this amazing novel, that Sherman Alexie, a former Rez Indian who now has a very successful life in Seattle, knows that of which he writes.
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” has been banned in some locales and schools probably due in small part because of casual teen discussion of sexual matters like masturbation and erections. But I suspect that some seek to keep others from reading the book because it starkly portrays the racism that original Americans often have to endure, and it shows the overwhelming poverty in which they must survive. The characters are wonderful, warm, and compassionate, but their circumstances are spare and bleak.
Like everything that Sherman Alexie writes, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a masterpiece, one that everyone who thinks they understand the breadth and scope of what America really is, in total, should take the time to read. It is, like many other great works of literature, a mirror on who we are as a people - and like many mirror-images, it can be very disturbing.
And great literature, like clear insight, is often disturbing.
Most recent customer reviews
Sorry story ended too soon.