This spring, we’re reading a novel by Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues, about a group of friends living on the Spokane Indian reservation in eastern Washington state who decide to form a band and take their music on the road. It’s funny, and tragic, and sometimes mystical but also down-to-earth. Though this story reveals a lot about poverty, alcoholism, and violence of reservation life, it is also filled with love, respect, fury at social injustice, and reflections on what it means to belong.
Alexie is a poet, short-story author, novelist, filmmaker, critic, musician, and performer. His young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the National Book Award in 2007 and has been chosen as a reading in common book for many college campuses. He grew up on the Spokane Indian reservation and now lives in Seattle.