Tuesday, October 1 7:30pm
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Sherman Alexie’s celebrated first collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, established its author as one of America’s most important and provocative voices. The basis for the award-winning movie Smoke Signals, it remains one of his best loved and widely praised books twenty years after its initial publication.
Vividly weaving memory, fantasy, and stark reality to paint a portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian reservation, this book introduces some of Alexie’s most beloved characters, including Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the storyteller who no one seems to listen to, and his compatriot, Victor, the sports hero who turned into a recovering alcoholic. Now with an updated introduction from Alexie, these twenty-four tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet they are filled with passion and affection, myth and charm. Against a backdrop of addiction, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between men and women, Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, and, most poetically, modern Indians and the traditions of the past.
“Alexie’s prose startles and dazzles with unexpected, impossible-to-anticipate moves. These are cultural love stories, and we laugh on every page with a fist tight around our hearts.” -- The Boston Globe
“Poetic and unremittingly honest . . . The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is for the American Indian what Richard Wright’s Native Son was for the black American in 1940.” -- Chicago Tribune
Now available in paperback, BLASPHEMY showcases the many talents of the daring, versatile and funny Alexie as a bold and irreverent observer of life among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest in a united collection of fifteen beloved classics with sixteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers alike. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” in which a homeless Indian man quests to win back a family heirloom; “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” a road-trip morality tale; “The Toughest Indian in the World,” about a night shared between a writer and a hitchhiker; and “War Dances,” about a man grappling with sudden hearing loss in the wake of his father’s death. Alexie’s stories are fresh and quintessential, about donkey basket¬ball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.
An indispensable Alexie collection, BLASPHEMY reminds us, on every thrill¬ing page, why he is one of our greatest contemporary writers and a true master of the short story.
“Over the years, Alexie has carved out a space in American literature as the great, tragicomic bard of the modern Native American experience. The stories in Blasphemy offer ample proof why. . . . With irony and sardonic wit, the Native men and women in Alexie's imagination find a way forward, and they endure. . . . [A] great triumph." -- Los Angeles Times
“Tenderness along with passion—governable or otherwise—are elements as pervasive in his impressive body of work as his subversive humor, his grief and outrage over the exploitation and neglect of indigenous populations in the United States.” -- San Francisco Chronicle
Sherman Alexie is the author of twenty-two books, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, War Dances, winner of the 2010 PEN Faulkner Award, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, a PEN Hemingway Special Citation winner. He is also the winner of the 2001 PEN Malamud Award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story. Smoke Signals, the film he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers' Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
7:30 PM at First Unitarian Universalist Center (1187 Franklin at Geary, San Francisco)
Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-8006
Students 12 - 20 (ID at door), $5 (limited number)
VIP $40 (includes preferred seating at front plus one copy each of Blasphemy and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
Celebrating Blasphemy and the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Hea