Last night at Chesapeake College, Sherman Alexie gave one of the best talks I've ever heard. The author of this year's One Maryland One Book selection, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie spoke about growing up Native American and navigating the cultural complexities faced by Indians, like himself, who leave the reservation. Referring to himself as "an indigenous immigrant," he infused his talk with startling honesty and disarming humor. Like an incredibly sensitive and smart stand-up comedian, he recounted the many obstacles he faced, including encephalitis, poor eyesight, a stutter, and being raised dirt poor on a reservation. But be forewarned... Alexie isn't just some inspirational speaker. With mischievous glee, also pokes fun at Native Americans, well-meaning liberals, and just about anything else that's near and dear to his heart. You can check him out tomorrow, at 2 pm, at the Baltimore Book Festival.
[photo: John Lewis]