Cover image for One stick song
Title:
One stick song
Author:
Alexie, Sherman, 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brooklyn : Hanging Loose Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
91 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781882413768

9781882413775
Format :
Book

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PS3551.L35774 O53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Poetry. Native American Studies. "Whether slyly identifying irony as a white man's invention, or deftly moving from prose-like multilayered narratives to formal poetry and song structures, this fifth collection from poet, novelist, and screenwriter Alexie demonstrates many of his skills. Most prominent perhaps is his ability to handle multiple perspectives and complex psychological subject matter with a humor that feeds readability: 'Successful non-Indian writers are viewed as well-informed about Indian life. Successful mixed-blood writers are viewed as wonderful translators of Indian life. Successful Indian writers are viewed as traditional storytellers of Indian life.' Poems such as the title one, a haunting chant for lost family, and 'The Theology of Cockroaches,' do some vivid scene setting: '...never/woke to a wall filled with cockroaches/spelling out my name, never/stepped into a dark room and heard/the cockroaches baying at the moon.' At times Alexie allows his language, within the lineated poems almost exclusively, to slacken into cliché. The opening, multipart prose piece 'The Unauthorized Biography of Me' is arguably the strongest in the book, juxtaposing roughly chronological anecdotes with 'An Incomplete List of People I Wish Were Indian' and the formula 'Poetry = anger x imagination.' Other poems tell of 'Migration, 1902' and 'Sex in Motel Rooms'; describe 'How It Happens' and 'Second Grief'; and develop 'The Anatomy of Mushrooms.' Alexie's latest is as powerful and challenging as his previous excellent books, and should only add readers to his ever-widening audience"--Publishers Weekly.


Summary

Poetry. Native American Studies. Sherman Alexie's poems, fiction, and essays have won him an international following since his first book, THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING, was published to great acclaim in 1992. SMOKE SIGNALS, the film he adapted from one of his stories and coproduced, enlarged his audience still further. Alexie's honors include awards from the NEA, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation, and the Washington State Arts Commission, and a citation as One of the 20 Best American Novelists Under the Age of 40 from GRANTA magazine. An enrolled Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, Alexie lives in Seattle with his wife and son.


Author Notes

Sherman J. Alexie Jr. was born on October 7, 1966. His mother was Spokane Indian and his father was Coeur d'Alene Indian. Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. He decided to attend high school off the reservation where he knew he would get a better education. He was the only Indian at the school, and excelled academically as well as in sports. After high school, he attended Gonzaga University for two years before transferring to Washington State University, where he graduated with a degree in American studies. He received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992.

His collections of poetry included The Business of Fancydancing, First Indian on the Moon, The Summer of Black Widows, One Stick Song, and Face. His first collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, received a PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. His other short story collections included The Toughest Indian in the World, Ten Little Indians, and War Dances. His first novel, Reservation Blues, received the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and the Murray Morgan Prize. His other novels included Indian Killer, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Flight. He won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction in 2018 for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir.

Alexie and Jim Boyd, a Colville Indian, collaborated on the album Reservation Blues, which contains the songs from the book of the same name. In 1997, Alexie collaborated with Chris Eyre, a Cheyenne/Arapaho Indian, on a film project inspired by Alexie's work, This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, from the short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Smoke Signals debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998, winning two awards: the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy. In 1999 the film received a Christopher Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Sherman J. Alexie Jr. was born on October 7, 1966. His mother was Spokane Indian and his father was Coeur d'Alene Indian. Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. He decided to attend high school off the reservation where he knew he would get a better education. He was the only Indian at the school, and excelled academically as well as in sports. After high school, he attended Gonzaga University for two years before transferring to Washington State University, where he graduated with a degree in American studies. He received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992.

His collections of poetry included The Business of Fancydancing, First Indian on the Moon, The Summer of Black Widows, One Stick Song, and Face. His first collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, received a PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. His other short story collections included The Toughest Indian in the World, Ten Little Indians, and War Dances. His first novel, Reservation Blues, received the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and the Murray Morgan Prize. His other novels included Indian Killer, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Flight. He won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction in 2018 for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir.

Alexie and Jim Boyd, a Colville Indian, collaborated on the album Reservation Blues, which contains the songs from the book of the same name. In 1997, Alexie collaborated with Chris Eyre, a Cheyenne/Arapaho Indian, on a film project inspired by Alexie's work, This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, from the short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Smoke Signals debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998, winning two awards: the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy. In 1999 the film received a Christopher Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Alexie, author most recently of the short story collection The Toughest Indian in the World [BKL Ap 1 00], expresses an anger as large and molten as the earth's core; but like the earth, which conceals its heat beneath forests and oceans, he cloaks his with mordant humor and a rough-and-ready lyricism. In this bracing collection of poems and poem-tight prose pieces, he targets lies and hypocrisy. Alexie mocks the mealymouthed cant of the politically correct and, in a lashing poem titled "Open Books," the arrogance of a certain ilk of poet, then, elsewhere, tempers his rage with tenderness. His hard-hitting poems are loosely knit and suitable for performance, but his prose pieces are constructed as diabolically as barbed wire, especially the clever yet emotionally resonant essay "The Warriors," in which musings on baseball segue into thoughts on friendship and such frank disclosures as his confession that although television once had him convinced that white women were sexier than brown women, life taught him the truth about love. --Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Whether slyly identifying irony as a white man's invention, or deftly moving from prose-like multilayered narratives to formal poetry and song structures, this fifth collection from poet (The Business of Fancydancing; etc.), novelist (Indian Killer; etc.) and screenwriter (Smoke Signals) Alexie demonstrates many of his skills. Most prominent perhaps is his ability to handle multiple perspectives and complex psychological subject matter with a humor that feeds readability: "Successful non-Indian writers are viewed as well-informed about Indian life. Successful mixed-blood writers are viewed as wonderful translators of Indian life. Successful Indian writers are viewed as traditional storytellers of Indian life." Poems such as the title one, a haunting chant for lost family, and "The Theology of Cockroaches," do some vivid scene setting: "...never/ woke to a wall filled with cockroaches/ spelling out my name, never/ stepped into a dark room and heard/ the cockroaches baying at the moon." At times Alexie allows his language, within the lineated poems almost exclusively, to slacken into clich‚. The opening, multipart prose piece "The Unauthorized Autobiography of Me" is arguably the strongest in the book, juxtaposing roughly chronological anecdotes with "An Incomplete List of People I Wish Were Indian" and the formula "Poetry = anger x imagination." Other poems tell of "Migration, 1902" and "Sex in Motel Rooms"; describe "How it Happens" and "Second Grief"; and develop "The Anatomy of Mushrooms." Alexie's latest is as powerful and challenging as his previous excellent books, and should only add readers to his ever-widening audience. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

Alexie, author most recently of the short story collection The Toughest Indian in the World [BKL Ap 1 00], expresses an anger as large and molten as the earth's core; but like the earth, which conceals its heat beneath forests and oceans, he cloaks his with mordant humor and a rough-and-ready lyricism. In this bracing collection of poems and poem-tight prose pieces, he targets lies and hypocrisy. Alexie mocks the mealymouthed cant of the politically correct and, in a lashing poem titled "Open Books," the arrogance of a certain ilk of poet, then, elsewhere, tempers his rage with tenderness. His hard-hitting poems are loosely knit and suitable for performance, but his prose pieces are constructed as diabolically as barbed wire, especially the clever yet emotionally resonant essay "The Warriors," in which musings on baseball segue into thoughts on friendship and such frank disclosures as his confession that although television once had him convinced that white women were sexier than brown women, life taught him the truth about love. --Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Whether slyly identifying irony as a white man's invention, or deftly moving from prose-like multilayered narratives to formal poetry and song structures, this fifth collection from poet (The Business of Fancydancing; etc.), novelist (Indian Killer; etc.) and screenwriter (Smoke Signals) Alexie demonstrates many of his skills. Most prominent perhaps is his ability to handle multiple perspectives and complex psychological subject matter with a humor that feeds readability: "Successful non-Indian writers are viewed as well-informed about Indian life. Successful mixed-blood writers are viewed as wonderful translators of Indian life. Successful Indian writers are viewed as traditional storytellers of Indian life." Poems such as the title one, a haunting chant for lost family, and "The Theology of Cockroaches," do some vivid scene setting: "...never/ woke to a wall filled with cockroaches/ spelling out my name, never/ stepped into a dark room and heard/ the cockroaches baying at the moon." At times Alexie allows his language, within the lineated poems almost exclusively, to slacken into clich‚. The opening, multipart prose piece "The Unauthorized Autobiography of Me" is arguably the strongest in the book, juxtaposing roughly chronological anecdotes with "An Incomplete List of People I Wish Were Indian" and the formula "Poetry = anger x imagination." Other poems tell of "Migration, 1902" and "Sex in Motel Rooms"; describe "How it Happens" and "Second Grief"; and develop "The Anatomy of Mushrooms." Alexie's latest is as powerful and challenging as his previous excellent books, and should only add readers to his ever-widening audience. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved