Important People in You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

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Sherman Alexie Jr.

Author and narrator of the novel, Alexie (also known as 'Junior') is the son of alcoholic parents who grew up in poverty on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. Born with hydrocephalic, with abnormal amounts of cerebral spinal fluid crushing his brain, Alexie had surgery at five months old. He continued to suffer from seizures until he was seven years old and alternated between insomnia and hypersonic throughout his life. In 2010 he was officially diagnosed as bipolar but remains adamant that his symptoms of mental illness were present in his youth.

In his childhood, Alexie had been the recipient of frequent abuse, both physical and verbal. On this abuse, he writes, "I heard her laughing with other girls, the mostly and fully Indian girls who had often laughed at me, at my thick government-provided eyeglasses, at my large hydrocephalic skull, at my epically crooked...

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This section contains 1,609 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Study Guide
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