Named one of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century, Alexie, a Spokane/Couer d’Alene Indian, grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Wa. He overcame a brain operation at the tender age of six months to become what the New York Times Book Review calls “one of the major lyric voices of our time.” The Men’s Journal has called him “the world’s first fast-talking and wisecracking mediagenic American-Indian superstar.”
Author of several books, including his first novel, Reservation Blues, which won Booklist’s Editors Choice Award for Fiction, Alexie has also penned Indian Killer, a New York Times Notable Book, The Toughest Indian in the World, which received the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in storytelling, and Ten Little Indians, a 2003 bestseller and Publishers Weekly’s Book of the Year. His latest works include Flight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a 2007 National Book Award winner in Young People’s Literature.
Alexie has also written and produced films, including Smoke Signals, based on his book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. In 2002 Alexie made his directorial debut with The Business of Fancydancing, and is currently working on a screenplay of The Toughest Indian in the World, which he will direct and co-produce.
In addition to his Witt Series lecture, Wittenberg’s English Department and the American Studies Program will present a question-and-answer session colloquium with Alexie at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Ness Family Auditorium in Hollenbeck Hall.
A graduate of Washington State University, Alexie received the Washington States Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992.
The Witt Series is a selection of cultural activities annually presented by Wittenberg University. All Series events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeannine Fox, Series coordinator, at (937) 327-7470 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Karen Gerboth and Samantha Kimm '11
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