Stories that make you think.
Sherman Alexie’s narratives in The Toughest Indian in the World combine the author’s matter-of-fact, understated style with his edgy humor, irony and passion. The result is a collection of short stories (with numerous subplots) which will always make you think, sometimes make you laugh, and sometimes make you get angry. Alexie’s heroes come from different tribes and all walks of life, but whether they themselves like it or not, they are all Indian – not: “Native American.” (“You ain’t Indian,” the Spokane father of a Spokane student thrown out of class over the question “What is an Indian?” tells his son’s mixed-race professor in One Good Man. “No. You might be a Native American but you sure as hell ain’t Indian.”) Not all of these stories are light fare – The Sin Eaters, which reflects on the darkest chapters of American Indian history, is strongly reminiscent of Huxley’s Brave New World. (Not recommended reading before you go to bed, at least if you have a vivid imagination.) But whether hilariously funny or dead-serious, you will not be able to put them down until you’ve read the very last page – and you will be sorry when you have.
“When you resort to violence to prove a point, you’ve just experienced a profound failure of imagination.”