Sunday, November 29, 2009
Gratitude post #13: The Trickster
Today, friends, I am grateful for Sherman Alexie, because he marries the sacred and the profane better than any writer I can think of.
Sherman (I always think of him as Sherman, not Alexie) is clever, brilliant with a crowd (listen to him here, look for the words "listen to program"), funny as hell, and cute as a bug. And he writes from the center of a culture I'm always interested in, so that adds fuel to my literary crush on him. Is he always brilliant? No. Is he a great stylist? No. But the man has heart and passion to spare, and like I said up there, he has the ability to talk about the shit of the world and the beauty of the world in the same sentence, then help us understand how those two things are one and the same.
My favorite short story in the world is "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," which he wrote, and you should read it here. So brilliant.
You should also watch this fantastic clip of Sherman reading, then answering questions about books and boners. If I had a bone, books would give me boners, too, so I totally identify.
I always admire artists whose work is so powerful I can't stand to read/watch it. I had to do that with Smoke Signals--I had to turn it off, because the subject matter was too close to home. It took me 3 weeks to turn it back on. The cool thing about Sherman--he'll teach you to laugh at what used to make you cry. And that, friends, is a skill worth learning.