December 6, 2012 · 7:00 PM
Join us on the Thursday, December 6th as we discuss The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. These are very short stories (so reading should go quickly) all interconnected (so there should be a lot to talk about!). Take a break from all the holiday craziness and have dessert or coffee with us as we chat about the book!
Below are descriptions of the book from Amazon and Publisher's Weekly:
When it was first published in 1993, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven established Sherman Alexie as a stunning new talent of American letters. The basis for the award-winning movie Smoke Signals, it remains one of his most beloved and widely praised books. In this darkly comic collection, Alexie brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and, most poetically, modern Indians and the traditions of the past.
Known primarily as a poet, Alexie ( Old Shirts and New Skins ), a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, here offers 22 extremely fine short stories, all set on or around the Spokane reservation in Washington state. Characters flow from one tale to the next; many involve Victor, who grows from a small child watching relatives fight during a New Year's Eve party ("Every Little Hurricane") to a dissolute man sitting on his broken-down porch with a friend, watching life pass him by ("The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn't Flash Red Anymore"). The author depicts with fierce determination all the elements of modern Native American life, from basketball and alcoholism to powwows and the unexplained deaths of insignificant people. Humor and tragedy exist side by side, and stories often jump back and forth in time and space, recounting two narratives that ultimately prove to be skeins of the same tale. Alexie writes with simplicity and forthrightness, allowing the power in his stories to creep up slowly on the reader. He captures the reservation's strong sense of community and attitude of hope tinged with realism as its inhabitants determine to persevere despite the odds. In "Imagining the Reservation" (a title that evokes John Lennon's song "Imagine") he writes, "Survival = Anger Imagination. Imagination is the only weapon on the reservation"--a weapon this author wields with potent authority.