Sherman Alexie | Critical Review by Brian Schneider

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Sherman Alexie.
This section contains 315 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Brian Schneider

Critical Review by Brian Schneider

SOURCE: A review of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 13, No. 3, Fall, 1993, pp. 237-38.

In the following review of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Schneider briefly examines Alexie's narrative voice.

Each of the twenty-two stories in Sherman Alexie's collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven examines the modern problems and contradictions of reservation life. Most of the stories are situated on the Spokane Indian Reservation, which Alexie's lyrical voice describes through stories that examine not only the real problems of alcoholism or unemployment but also happier moments: romance, basketball, and dancing. Alexie's voice is strongest when the real problems collide with the lighter moments—in these instances his prose is brutally honest and depicts the horrible strains of poverty, alcoholism, and violence—but also shows the flip side: the tribe continues to exist in its language, myth, and culture (Alexie's own stories) even in the face of what at times seem like insurmountable odds.

The collection is loosely linked through Alexie's narrative voice, a voice that resonates whether operating in first or third person with a passion that sees the irony in the flower power movement's co-opting of mostly American Indian values ("Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock") and captures the personal and national feelings of alienation American Indians face as their numbers dwindle, but also the sense of duty and honor they hold for one another ("This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"). Alexie's remarkable collection deserves a wide audience because of his original narrative voice, which mixes mythmaking with lyrical prose and captures the nation-within-a-nation status of American Indians and the contradictions such a status produces, and more importantly, the survival of a people through mythmaking rooted in their everyday lives.

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This section contains 315 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Brian Schneider
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