Biography Of Sherman Alexie

Submitted By smarchetta
Words: 725
Pages: 3

Samantha Marchetta
Ms. Anderson
English 111
19 February 2013
Sherman Alexie My love of books began before I could even read. My mother belonged to a book of the month club, where she received a special edition of all the “classics.” I loved looking through the pages, having the book in my hands. I felt like I was physically touching knowledge. My parents would read stories to me and I fell in love with the fairytale, the mystery, everything about books had me hooked. As a young boy growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, Sherman Alexie was given a Superman comic book and taught himself to read. Alexie’s father was obsessed with books. He had piles of books all over the house, bookshelf after bookshelf, every genre, and every plot imaginable. “[His] father loved books, and since [he] loved [his] father with an aching devotion, [he] decided to love books as well.” (Alexie 45.)
When Alexie picked up the Superman comic book, although he was unable to understand the words, he narrated what the illustrations should be saying, based on their actions in the picture. Eventually, he was able to teach himself how to read. Alexie advanced in school very quickly, reading books far past his grade level ahead of every other student in his class. “He might have been called a prodigy. But he is an Indian boy living on a reservation and is simply an oddity.” (Alexie 46.) He was feared and ridiculed for being a “smart” Indian. He was told to stay quiet and not respond when the non-Indian teacher would ask questions. He was an Indian child; he was expected to be stupid. It surprised him how in the classroom, most of the other students actually seemed stupid, yet outside the classroom, these same students would excel. “As Indian children [they] were expected to fail in the non-Indian world.” (Alexie 47.) Despite everything, Alexie refused to fail. He read at every available moment he had, reading anything he could possibly get his hands on. He was determined. I loved looking at the pictures and trying to figure out the real message the author was trying to get across. I wanted to learn how to read, but when it came time, I struggled. My speech impediment, held me back as far as reading was concerned. I could read in my head extremely well and fast-paced. But reading aloud was a different story. I had to read everything extremely slow; this was so I could avoid mumbling all of my words together. When I was excited about something, it was almost as if my entire sentence came out as one giant word. Although I was in speech therapy classes and read out loud with