The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a first-person narrative novel by Sherman Alexie, from the perspective of Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr., also known as "Junior", a year-old budding cartoonist. The book is a coming-of-age story detailing Junior's life on the Spokane .. The San Francisco Chronicle praised it as "[a] great book full of pain, but. Booklist Online Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alexie, Sherman (author).Sept. p. Little, Brown, hardcover, $ The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Published in , and winner of the National Book Award, Sherman Alexie's coming-of- age novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Show full overview.
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie But that makes the whole thing sound weirdo and funny, like my brain was a giant. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Free download as PDF File . pdf), Text File Uploaded by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers . But that makes the whole thing sound weirdo and funny, like my brain was a giant French . The full text of the novel and audio recording online. The book is not difficult to read and understand due to quite simple vocabulary and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (audiobook).
Okay, so thats not exactly true. I was actually born with too much cerebral spinal uid inside my skull. But cerebral spinal uid is just the doctors fancy way of saying brain grease. And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast. But weirdo me, I was born with too much grease inside my skull, and it got all thick and muddy and disgusting, and it only mucked up the works.
Chicago citation style Susan Ketcham. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http: Accessed May 31, These citations are programmatically generated and may be incomplete. An excerpt from an interview with Sherman Alexie in which he discusses moving off the reservation, A photograph of four generations of a Spokane Indian family, ca. A photograph of Spokane Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington.
A photograph of Sam Boyd, a Spokane Indian, in ceremonial dress, A photograph of an older Spokane Indian named Sam Boyd, ca. A photograph of people assembled for an event at the Makah Indian Reservation, A photograph of women dancing in Wellpinit, Washington, An excerpt from a news bulletin about improving education for Native American students, An excerpt from an interview with Sherman Alexie, And she remembers everything she reads.
She can. Shes a human tape recorder. Really, my mom can read the newspaper in fteen minutes and tell me baseball scores, the location of every war, the latest guy to win the Lottery, and the high temperature in Des Moines, Iowa. Given the chance, my father would have been a musician. When he gets drunk, he sings old country songs. And blues, too.
And he sounds good. Like a pro. Like he should be on the radio. He plays the guitar and the piano a little bit.
And he has this old saxophone from high school that he keeps all clean and shiny, like hes going to join a band at any moment. But we reservation Indians dont get to realize our dreams. We dont get those chances.
Or choices. Were just poor. Thats all we are. It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor.
You start believing that youre poor because youre stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that youre stupid and ugly because youre Indian. And because youre Indian you start believing youre destined to be poor.
Its an ugly circle and theres nothing you can do about it. Poverty doesnt give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor. So, poor and small and weak, I picked up Oscar. He licked my face because he loved and trusted me. And I carried him out to the lawn, and I laid him down beneath our green apple tree. I love you, Oscar, I said. He looked at me and I swear to you that he understood what was happening.
He knew what Dad was going to do. But Oscar wasnt scared. He was relieved. But not me. I ran away from there as fast as I could. I wanted to run faster than the speed of sound, but nobody, no matter how much pain theyre in, can run that fast.
So I heard the boom of my fathers rie when he shot my best friend. A bullet only costs about two cents, and anybody can afford that. After Oscar died, I was so depressed that I thought about crawling into a hole and disappearing forever. But Rowdy talked me out of it. Its not like anybodys going to notice if you go away, he said. So you might as well gut it out. Isnt that tough love? Rowdy is the toughest kid on the rez.
He is long and lean and strong like a snake. His heart is as strong and mean as a snake, too. But he is my best human friend and he cares about me, so he would always tell me the truth. And he is right. Nobody would miss me if I was gone. Well, Rowdy would miss me, but hed never admit that hed miss me.
He is way too tough for that kind of emotion. But aside from Rowdy, and my parents and sister and grandmother, nobody would miss me.
I am a zero on the rez. And if you subtract zero from zero, you still have zero. So whats the point of subtracting when the answer is always the same? So I gut it out. I have to, I guess, especially since Rowdy is having one of the worst summers of his life. His father is drinking hard and throwing hard punches, so Rowdy and his mother are always walking around with bruised and bloody faces.
Its war paint, Rowdy always says. It just makes me look tougher. And I suppose it does make him look tougher, because Rowdy never tries to hide his wounds. He walks around the rez with a black eye and split lip. This morning, he limped into our house, slumped in a chair, threw his sprained knee up on the table, and smirked. He had a bandage over his left ear.
What happened to your head? I asked. Dad said I wasnt listening, Rowdy said. So he got all drunk and tried to make my ear a little bigger. My mother and father are drunks, too, but they arent mean like that. Not at all.
They sometimes ignore me. Sometimes they yell at me. But they never, ever, never, ever hit me. Ive never even been spanked. I think my mother sometimes wants to haul off and give me a slap, but my father wont let it happen.
He doesnt believe in physical punishment; he believes in staring so cold at me that I turn into a ice-covered ice cube with an icy lling.
My house is a safe place, so Rowdy spends most of his time with us. Its like hes a family member, an extra brother and son. You want to head down to the powwow? Rowdy asked. Nah, I said. The Spokane Tribe holds their annual powwow celebration over the Labor Day weekend. This was the th annual one, and there would be singing, war dancing, gambling, storytelling, laughter, fry bread, hamburgers, hot dogs, arts and crafts, and plenty of alcoholic brawling.
I wanted no part of it. Oh, the dancing and singing are great. Beautiful, in fact, but Im afraid of all the Indians who arent dancers and singers. Those rhythmless, talentless, tuneless Indians are most likely going to get drunk and beat the shit out of any available losers.
And I am always the most available loser. Come on, Rowdy said. Ill protect you. He knew that I was afraid of getting beat up. And he also knew that hed probably have to ght for me.
Rowdy has protected me since we were born. Im two hours older than Rowdy. I was born all broken and twisted, and he was born mad. He was always crying and screaming and kicking and punching. He bit his mothers breast when she tried to nurse him.
He kept biting her, so she gave up and fed him formula. He really hasnt changed much since then. Well, at fourteen years old, its not like he runs around biting womens breasts, but he does punch and kick and spit. He got into his rst stght in kindergarten. He took on three rst graders during a snowball ght because one of them had thrown a piece of ice. Rowdy punched them out pretty quickly. And then he punched the teacher who came to stop the ght. He didnt hurt the teacher, not at all, but man, let me tell you, that teacher was angry.
Whats wrong with you? Rowdy yelled back. Rowdy fought everybody. He fought boys and girls. Men and women. He fought stray dogs. Hell, he fought the weather.
Hed throw wild punches at rain. Come on, you wuss, Rowdy said. Lets go to powwow. You cant hide in your house forever. Youll turn into some kind of troll or something. What if somebody picks on me? Then Ill pick on them. What if somebody picks my nose? Then Ill pick your nose, too, Rowdy said. Youre my hero, I said. Come to the powwow, Rowdy said.
Its a big deal when Rowdy is polite. Okay, okay, I said. So Rowdy and I walked the three miles to the powwow grounds. It was dark, maybe eight oclock or so, and the drummers and singers were loud and wonderful. I was excited. But I was getting hypothermic, too.
The Spokane Powwow is wicked hot during the day and freezing cold at night. I should have worn my coat, I said. Toughen up, Rowdy said. Lets go watch the chicken dancers, I said. I think the chicken dancers are cool because, well, they dance like chickens. And you already know how much I love chicken. This crap is boring, Rowdy said. Well just watch for a little while, I said.
And then well go gamble or something. Okay, Rowdy said. He is the only person who listens to me. Hey, lets go download some bootleg whiskey, Rowdy said. I got ve bucks. Dont get drunk, I said. Youll just get ugly. Im already ugly, Rowdy said. He laughed, tripped over a tent pole, and stumbled into a minivan. He bumped his face against a window and jammed his shoulder against the rearview mirror. It was pretty funny, so I laughed. That was a mistake.
Rowdy got mad. He shoved me to the ground and almost kicked me. He swung his leg at me, but pulled it back at the last second. I could tell he wanted to hurt me for laughing. But I am his friend, his best friend, his only friend. He couldnt hurt me. So he grabbed a garbage sack lled with empty beer bottles and hucked it at the minivan. Glass broke everywhere. Then Rowdy grabbed a shovel that somebody had been using to dig barbecue holes and went after that van.
Just beat the crap out of it. He dented the doors and smashed the windows and knocked off the mirrors. I was scared of Rowdy and I was scared of getting thrown in jail for vandalism, so I ran.
I ran right into the Andruss brothers camp. The Andrusses John, Jim, and Joe are the cruelest triplets in the history of the world. Hey, look, one of them said. Its Hydro Head. Yep, those bastards were making fun of my brain disorder. Charming, huh? Nah, he aint Hydro, said another one of the brothers. Hes Hydrogen. I dont know which one said that. I couldnt tell them apart.
I decided to run again, but one of them grabbed me, and shoved me toward another brother. All three of them shoved me to and fro. They were playing catch with me. I fell down. One of the brothers picked me up, dusted me off, and then kneed me in the balls. I fell down again, holding my tender crotch, and tried not to scream. The Andruss brothers laughed and walked away. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the Andruss triplets are thirty years old?
What kind of men beat up a fourteen-year-old boy? Major-league assholes. I was lying on the ground, holding my nuts as tenderly as a squirrel holds his nuts, when Rowdy walked up.
Who did this to you? The Andruss brothers, I said. Did they hit you in the head? He knows that my brain is fragile. If those Andruss brothers had punched a hole in the aquarium of my skull, I might have ooded out the entire powwow. My brain is ne, I said. But my balls are dying.
Im going to kill those bastards, Rowdy said. Of course, Rowdy didnt kill them, but we hid near the Andruss brothers camp until three in the morning. They staggered back and passed out in their tent. Then Rowdy snuck in, shaved off their eyebrows, and cut off their braids. Thats about the worst thing you can do to an Indian guy.
It had taken them years to grow their hair. And Rowdy cut that away in ve seconds. I loved Rowdy for doing that. I felt guilty for loving him for that. But revenge also feels pretty good. The Andruss brothers never did gure out who cut their eyebrows and hair.
Rowdy started a rumor that it was a bunch of Makah Indians from the coast who did it. You cant trust them whale hunters, Rowdy said. Theyll do anything. But before you think Rowdy is only good for revenge, and kicking the shit out of minivans, raindrops, and people, let me tell you something sweet about him: But not the cool superhero ones like Daredevil or X-Men.
Kid stuff. He keeps them hidden in a hole in the wall of his bedroom closet. Almost every day, Ill head over to his house and well read those comics together. Rowdy isnt a fast reader, but hes persistent. And hell just laugh and laugh at the dumb jokes, no matter how many times hes read the same comic.
I like the sound of Rowdys laughter. I dont hear it very often, but its always sort of this avalanche of ha-ha and ho-ho and hee-hee. I like to make him laugh. He loves my cartoons.
Hes a big, goofy dreamer, too, just like me. He likes to pretend he lives inside the comic books. I guess a fake life inside a cartoon is a lot better than his real life. So I draw cartoons to make him happy, to give him other worlds to live inside. I draw his dreams. And he only talks about his dreams with me.
And I only talk about my dreams with him. I tell him about my fears. I think Rowdy might be the most important person in my life. Maybe more important than my family. Can your best friend be more important than your family? I think so. I mean, after all, I spend a lot more time with Rowdy than I do with anyone else. Lets do the math.
I gure Rowdy and I have spent an average of eight hours a day together for the last fourteen years. Thats eight hours times days times fourteen years. So that means Rowdy and I have spent 40, hours in each others company.
Nobody else comes anywhere close to that. Trust me. Rowdy and I are inseparable. I was happy about that. And I was most especially excited about my rst geometry class. Yep, I have to admit that isosceles triangles make me feel hormonal.
Most guys, no matter what age, get excited about curves and circles, but not me. Dont get me wrong. I like girls and their curves. And I really like women and their curvier curves. I spend hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars:.
Im proud of it. Im good at it. Im ambidextrous. If there were a Professional Masturbators League, Id get drafted number one and make millions of dollars. And maybe youre thinking, Well, you really shouldnt be talking about masturbation in public.
And if God hadnt wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldnt have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs. But, the thing is, no matter how much time my thumbs and I spend with the curves of imaginary women, I am much more in love with the right angles of buildings. When I was a baby, Id crawl under my bed and snuggle into a corner to sleep. I just felt warm and safe leaning into two walls at the same time.
When I was eight, nine, and ten, I slept in my bedroom closet with the door closed. I only stopped doing that because my big sister, Mary, told me that I was just trying to nd my way back into my mothers womb.
That ruined the whole closet thing. I dont have anything against my mothers womb. I was built in there, after all.
So I have to say that I am pro-womb. But I have zero interest in moving back home, so to speak. My sister is good at ruining things. After high school, my sister just froze. Didnt go to college, didnt get a job. Didnt do anything. Kind of sad, I guess. But she is also beautiful and strong and funny. She is the prettiest and strongest and funniest person who ever spent twentythree hours a day alone in a basement.
She is so crazy and random that we call her Mary Runs Away. Im not like her at all. I am steady. Im excited about life.
Im excited about school. Rowdy and I are planning on playing high school basketball.