Sherman Alexie Biography | Author of Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock

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Alexie was born on October 7, 1966, in Spokane, Washington. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation. At birth, Alexie was diagnosed with hydrocephalus—an abnormal swelling of the brain and head due to excess fluid—and he underwent brain surgery at six months. The hydrocephalus gave Alexie an enlarged skull, which prompted merciless teasing by other children on the reservation. As a result, Alexie spent most of his time alone, reading in the Wellpinit School Library.

Alexie's father, an alcoholic, was frequently absent from home, while Alexie's mother worked as a clerk at the Wellpinit Trading Post and sewed quilts to support Alexie and his five siblings. Alexie transferred to a mostly white high school in Rearden—thirty miles off the reservation—to get the credits he needed to attend college. Alexie was accepted by the...

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This section contains 498 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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