Alexie (Coeur d'Alene/Spokane) is a critically acclaimed
filmmaker and writer, with 16 books published to date, including
Indian Killer, a New York Times Notable Book, and The
Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, winner of the PEN/Hemingway
Award for Best First Book of Fiction. Alexie's directorial feature
debut, The Business of Fancydancing (2002), which is about
a gay poet returning to his reservation for a funeral, won the
Los Angeles Outfest Outstanding Screenwriting Award, and won Audience
Awards at the Victoria Film Festival, the Philadelphia Gay and
Lesbian Film Festival, and the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film
Festival. Previously, Alexie co-produced and wrote the screenplay
for Chris Eyre's Smoke Signals, which was adapted from
Alexie's story This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona.
Smoke Signals premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival,
where it won the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy. Alexie
has acted as a Creative Advisor to the Sundance Institute Writers
Fellowship Program and the Independent Feature Films West Screenwriters
Lab, and has served on the Independent Spirit Awards Nominating
Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit,
Washington. After graduating from Washington State University
he received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship
in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship
in 1992. Alexie's Dangerous Astronomy, a poetry chapbook,
will be published in 2005.
"There are two scary things about making movies. Number
one: there is never enough time or money. Number two: nobody really
cares about movies about Indians. But we all keep making them
in the hopes that one of us some day creates the indigenous Star
Wars, Gone with the Wind, or Friday the Thirteenth
Screened by NMAI
- Ten Little Indians. Sherman Alexie. New York: Grove
- The Business of Fancydancing. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose
- One Stick. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 2000.
- Toughest Indian in the World. New York: Grove Press,
- The Man Who Loves Salmon. Boise: Limberlost Press,
- Indian Killer. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998.
- The Summer of Black Widows. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose
- Water Flowing Home. Boise: Limberlost Press, 1996.
- Reservation Blues. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press,
- The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. New
York: HarperPerennial, 1994.
- First Indian on the Moon. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press,
- Old Shirts and New Skins. Los Angeles: American Indian
Studies Center, University of California Los Angeles, 1993.
- I Would Steal Horses. Niagara Falls: Slipstream Publications,
Image credits: Sherman
Alexie - photograph by R. Casey, courtesy of the filmmaker