Ten Little Indians

Ten Little Indians

Stories

Book - 2003
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Sherman Alexie is one of today's most captivating and popular writers -- The Nation has called him "a master of language, writing beautifully, unsparingly, and straight to the heart." Now with Ten Little Indians he offers nine poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heart-rending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and who they love. What kind of Indian loses her mind over a book of poems? Well, Corliss was that kind of Indian, she was exactly that kind of Indian, and it was the only kind of Indian she knew how to be. In Alexie's first story, "The Search Engine," Corliss is a rugged and resourceful student who finds in books the magic she was denied while growing up poor. When she discovers the poetry of a fellow Native who vanished thirty years earlier after winning the Pulitzer Prize, she makes it her mission to find him. Although he does not prove to be the man Corliss needs him to be, his devastating story will help her in her own struggle to belong. In "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above," an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her to the bewilderment of her only child, now a grown man who looks back at his life with equal parts fondness, amusement, and regret. In "Do You Know Where I Am?" two college sweethearts rescue a lost cat -- a simple act that will affect the rest of their lives together. Finally, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" starts off with a homeless man recognizing in a pawnshop window the fancydance regalia that was stolen fifty years earlier from his late grandmother. As he tries to raise $1,000 in twenty-four hours to buy back the outfit, the narrator's misadventure combines bittersweet wit and touching earnestness as only this author can. Even as they often make us laugh, Sherman Alexie's stories are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candor that cut to the heart of the human experience, shedding brilliant light on what happens when we grow into and out of ourselves, and each other. Ten Little Indians is a great new work from one of today's most original and highly regarded writers of fiction. Book jacket.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780802117441
0802117449
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 22 cm

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hmcgivney
Feb 03, 2013

This is the type of literary "super-realistic-warts-and-all" style that I don't really like. But this was for a more-important-than-average book group, so I made a greater-than-average effort to finish. I didn't like the casual (and very crass) sexuality thrown in at the beginning for no real reason, but Alexie either put it in the earlier stories to weed out the undedicated, or I got used to it. However, I liked a few of the stories, and I found some lines that really resonated with me: From Flight Patterns "He invested much of his money in socially responsible funds. Imagine that! Imagine choosing to trust your money with companies that supposedly made their millions through ethical means. Imagine the breathtaking privilege of such a choice." And from The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above "I don't understand her, not then or now. She's a contradiction. She has always contained multitudes."

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hiking1957
Jan 11, 2013

Well, I only made it thru the 4th story. That is all I care to read. I didn't like any of the stories and I didn't care for the writing. It appears that I am definitely in the minority here but I thought the 4 stories that I did read were awful. The sexual references seemed to just be thrown in simply to show that he could and didn't seem to me to add anything of any value to any of the stories I did manage to read. I have absolutely no desire to read any more of this book. Maybe someone in one of my book clubs can convince me otherwise and if so, maybe I'll put this one on a different shelf but if not I will be more than happy to give this one back.

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GuyN
Oct 15, 2011

Alexie is a very funny man, if you are not too thin skinned about being an "Anglo" (not his term). He also gives us insights into lives of very unusual people that we might not notice around us. I'm not a short story fan and this isn't his very best work, but any Alexie is pretty darn good, for the above reasons.

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