November is Native American Heritage Month. While it is important to learn about the history of Native American history and culture, it’s equally important to celebrate contemporary individuals within that culture.
(Photo Credit Chase Jarvis)
One of the most influential writers of the 21st century, Sherman Alexie is a member of the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene tribe and grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He’s received countless awards, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the National Book Award, and the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award.
Of course, our favorite is the ALA Odyssey Award, which he won for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a title he narrated for Recorded Books. A controversial story that frequents banned books lists, this semi-autobiographical title tells the story of Junior, a budding Spokane cartoonist who moves from his reservation to an all-white farm town where the only other Native American is the high school mascot.
Sherman Alexie is but one author that First Nations recommends reading for Native American Heritage Month. You can check out other titles here.