The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

by Sherman Alexie | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316013684 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAzukiwing of Miami, Florida USA on 10/4/2011
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, October 04, 2011
This is absolutely among the best books I've read this year.

It's tough life for Junior, a teenager living with his impoverished family in the Spokane Indian Reservation, and born with a birth defect that makes him a target for the buddies.

One day, after he accidentally threw a book at his teacher, the teacher came to Junior's house. Instead of reprimanding him, the teacher said, "You can't give up. You won't give up. You threw that book in my face because somewhere inside you refuse to give up.... You have to take your hope and go somewhere where other people have hope."

Thus, Junior decided to transfer to a school outside the rez. He wants to escape before his hopes get suffocated and he becomes another penniless alcoholic trapped in the rez. The Indians felt betrayed by his decision, and labeled him an apple (I've heard of bananas, eggs and oreos, but didn't know about apples). Needless to say, Junior didn't feel like he belongs in the new school either, where he had to walk 22 miles to attend as his father could not afford the gas, and where the only Indian was the school mascot.

It's a poignant story, partly autobiographical. Its odd-ball commentary reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight, but more brilliant. It's laugh-out-loud funny one moment and heart-breaking the next, as Junior keenly observes the inequalities and harsh life around him, as he tries to rise above the limitations of his surrounding. Its cartoons complement the story beautifully.

"During one week when I was little, Dad got stopped three times for DWI: Driving While Indian."

"I don't know if hope is white. But I do know that hope for me is like some mythical creature."

"I think the world is a series of broken dam and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats."

"I realized that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms. And the tribe of cartoonists. And the tribe of chronic masturbators..."

I am saving this for the Best of 2011 book swap.

Journal Entry 2 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Sunday, February 19, 2012
I held on to this book till now as my book club is going to discuss it (the book was recommended by me). Glad to report that most people like it - the few who don't feel that it's too juvenile and the writing so simplistic it's boring. So I hope zzz you won't feel that way. We talked a bit about how nonchalant the author (or tribe) seems to be about death - is it their culture or the sad fact that death just knocks on their doors too often. And the comparison with Junior's sister - who didn't make it - while Junior did. Someone supplemented that real-life Rowdy, Junior's best friend, did transfer out of the reservation the following year, and it is great to hear that Junior has blazed a trail for others to follow.

BTW this is the book I select for the World Book Night. I will be getting 20 copies of this to give away! Yay!

Now heading to zzz, who once again selected my book in the Best of swap. : )

Journal Entry 3 by zzz at Rakovica, City of Belgrade Serbia on Thursday, September 06, 2012
Looking forward to read this. Must admit I wasn't familiar with the title before the swap but after it every now and then I stumbled upon an article or a comment about it. And all were quit good :)

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