Sherman Alexie Books: 12 Best Authored Books

: Sherman Joseph Alexie Jr. is a Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Native American novelist, short story writer, poet, and filmmaker. His writings draw on his experiences as an Indigenous American with ancestry from several tribes. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and now lives in Seattle, Washington. We hope you enjoy our list of the best Sherman Alexie Books.

Common Questions on Sherman Alexie

What tribe did Sherman Alexie belong to?

Salish Indians
 
Alexie was born to Salish Indians—a Coeur d’Alene father and a Spokane mother.

What degrees does Sherman Alexie have?

He attended Gonzaga University but graduated with a degree in American studies from Washington State University

Sherman Alexie Books

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Jan 10, 2012 by Sherman Alexie

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Flight: A Novel Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

Half Native American and half Irish, fifteen-year-old “Zits” has spent much of his short life alternately abused and ignored as an orphan and ward of the foster care system. Ever since his mother died, he’s felt alienated from everyone, but, thanks to the alcoholic father whom he’s never met, especially disconnected from other Indians.
 
After he runs away from his latest foster home, he makes a new friend. Handsome, charismatic, and eloquent, Justice soon persuades Zits to unleash his pain and anger on the uncaring world. But picking up a gun leads Zits on an unexpected time-traveling journey through several violent moments in American history, experiencing life as an FBI agent during the civil rights movement, a mute Indian boy during the Battle of Little Bighorn, a nineteenth-century Indian tracker, and a modern-day airplane pilot. When Zits finally returns to his own body, “he begins to understand what it means to be the hero, the villain and the victim. . . . Mr. Alexie succeeds yet again with his ability to pierce to the heart of matters, leaving this reader with tears in her eyes” (The New York Times Book Review).

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven: Stories Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie


The twenty-four linked tales in Alexie’s debut collection—an instant classic—paint an unforgettable portrait of life on and around the Spokane Indian Reservation, a place where “Survival = Anger x Imagination,” where HUD houses and generations of privation intertwine with history, passion, and myth.
 
We follow Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the longwinded storyteller no one really listens to; his half-hearted nemesis, Victor, the basketball star turned recovering alcoholic; and a wide cast of other vividly drawn characters on a haunting journey filled with humor and sorrow, resilience and resignation, dreams and reality. Alexie’s unadulterated honesty and boundless compassion come together in a poetic vision of a world in which the gaps between past and present are not really gaps after all.

Indian Killer: A Novel Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

A serial murderer dubbed “the Indian Killer” has Seattle living in fear. As he scalps his victims and adorns their bodies with owl feathers, the city consumes itself in a nightmare frenzy of racial tension. Then a possible suspect emerges: John Smith. An Indian raised by whites, John is lost between cultures. He fights for a sense of belonging that may never be his—but has his alienation made him angry enough to kill?
 

Reservation Blues: A Novel Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

Coyote Springs is the only all-Indian rock band in Washington State—and the entire rest of the world. Thomas Builds-the-Fire takes vocals and bass guitar, Victor Joseph hits lead guitar, and Junior Polatkin rounds off the sound on drums. Backup vocals come from sisters Chess and Checkers Warm Water. The band sings its own brand of the blues, full of poverty, pain, and loss—but also joy and laughter.
It all started one day when legendary bluesman Robert Johnson showed up on the Spokane Indian Reservation with a magical guitar, leaving it on the floor of Thomas Builds-the-Fire’s van after setting off to climb Wellpinit Mountain in search of Big Mom.
In Reservation Blues, National Book Award winner Alexie vaults with ease from comedy to tragedy and back in a tour-de-force outing powered by a collision of cultures: Delta blues and Indian rock.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Jun 13, 2017 by Sherman Alexie

Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie’s bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It’s these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie , Yuyi Morales

relationship between father and son.

Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name…one that’s all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn’t want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Little Thunder thinks all hope is lost, dad picks the best name…Lightning! Their love will be loud and bright, and together they will light up the sky.

Ten Little Indians: Stories Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

In these lyrical, affectionate tales from the author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, characters navigate the crossroads of culture, battle stereotypes, and find themselves through everything from politics to basketball. Richard, the narrator of “Lawyer’s League,” grows up in Seattle, the son of “an African American giant who played defensive end for the University of Washington Huskies” and “a petite Spokane Indian ballerina.” A woman is caught in a restaurant when a suicide bomb goes off in “Can I Get a Witness.” And Estelle Walks Above (née Estelle Miller), studies her way off the Spokane Indian Reservation and goes on to both enjoy and resent the company of the white women of Seattle—who see her as a shamanic genius, and look to her for guidance on everything from sex and fashion to spirituality.

War Dances: Stories and Poems Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, War Dances blends short stories, poems, call-and-response, and more into something that only Sherman Alexie could have written. Ordinary men stand at the threshold of profound change, from a story about a famous writer caring for a dying but still willful father, to the tale of a young Indian boy who learns to value his own life by appreciating the deaths of others. Perceptions change, too, as “Another Proclamation” casts a shadow over Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and “Invisible Dog on a Leash” limns the heartbreak of shattered childhood illusions. And nostalgia for antiquated technology is tenderly rendered in “Ode to Mix Tapes” and “Ode for Pay Phones.”

The Toughest Indian in the World: Stories Oct 15, 2013 by Sherman Alexie

 In this bestselling volume of stories, National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie challenges readers to see Native American Indians as the complex, modern, real people they are. The tender and tenacious tales of The Toughest Indian in the World introduce us to the one-hundred-eighteen-year-old Etta Joseph, former co-star and lover of John Wayne, and to the unnamed narrator of the title story, a young Indian journalist searching for togetherness one hitchhiker at a time.
Countless other brilliant creations leap from Alexie’s mind in these nine stories. Upwardly mobile Indians yearn for a more authentic life, married Indian couples push apart while still cleaving together, and ordinary, everyday Indians hunt for meaning in their lives. The Toughest Indian in the World combines anger, humor, and beauty into radiant fictions, fiercely imagined, from one of America’s greatest writers.

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories Oct 2, 2012 by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie’s stature as a writer of stories, poems, and novels has soared over the course of his twenty-book, twenty-year career. His wide-ranging, acclaimed stories from the last two decades have established him as a star in contemporary American literature. A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases all his talents in Blasphemy, where he unites twelve beloved classics with twelve new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers.

American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice Apr 26, 2011 by William Reichard , Ted Kooser , Sherman Alexie

This anthology of contemporary American poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction, explores issues of identity, oppression, injustice, and social change. Living American writers produced each piece between 1980 and the present; works were selected based on literary merit and the manner in which they address one or more pressing social issues.

William Reichard has assembled some of the most respected literary artists of our time, asking whose voices are ascendant, whose silenced, and why. The work as a whole reveals shifting perspectives and the changing role of writing in the social justice arena over the last few decades.