In case you haven’t heard, our 2012 Everett Reads! author is Sherman Alexie. From his large body of work, we’ve chosen his National Book Award for Young People’s Literature winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian as the focus for this year’s program.
For many people Alexie first appeared on their radar with 1998’s film Smoke Signals (Alexie wrote the screenplay, based on his 1993 novel The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven). This was America’s first glance at Alexie’s accessible yet poignant humor and unique perspective on American Indian history.
Absolutely True has endured since its original publication in 2007, and copies fly off the shelves at bookstores and libraries alike. Alexie’s often humorous-yet-serious insight into social issues, familial issues, teen angst, American Indian and popular culture continues to resonate.
Alexie is a renowned speaker, best known for his dry humor and honest, genuine style. He is also an accomplished poet, having won several prestigious poetry awards. His work is also enjoyed by a wide-ranging age-group, and initially, this was one of the primary reasons we selected Absolutely True. Just a few months ago the library celebrated the grand-opening of its long-awaited Teen Zone, a space just for teens in the Main Library, and we wanted 2012’s Everett Reads! to compliment this momentous improvement. Alexie was the perfect choice.
There are so many great things that can be said about Absolutely True and Alexie’s accomplished body of work. But don’t take it from us, instead come discover them on your own. To aid you we’ve scheduled a series of events and speakers that will bring out Alexie’s many talents and that will hopefully inspire discussion throughout our community.
The fun starts this Saturday, February 4th at 7 pm with Alexie’s visit to Everett’s Performing Arts Center. After being inspired by the author, be sure to check out the other programs throughout the month of February. These include a fine selection of films, book discussions, programs on local tribal history, and, of course, a program about cartooning.
Be sure to read, or listen to Alexie’s own narration of the book this month courtesy of the Everett Public Library. Until then, I leave you with one of Alexie’s recent poems to ponder (published in the May 16, 2011 issue of the New Yorker magazine):
A Facebook Sonnet
Welcome to the endless high-school
Reunion. Welcome to past friends
And lovers, however kind or cruel.
Let’s undervalue and unmend
The present. Why can’t we pretend
Every stage of life is the same?
Let’s exhume, resume, and extend
Childhood. Let’s play all the games
That occupy the young. Let fame
And shame intertwine. Let one’s search
For God become public domain.
Let church.com become our church.
Let’s sign up, sign in, and confess
Here at the altar of loneliness