War Dances in the High School Gym

Reviewed: Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie’s newest fictional short story collection, Blasphemy, is a gritty assemblage of narratives that wander like the protagonists in them, ending loosely, never quite finished. Through his ambling characters, Alexie explores the current culture of Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest near the Spokane Indian Reservation. They deal with seemingly small issues — from picking up hitchhikers to arguing with girlfriends — but through their sharp, rhythmic prose they propel these topics outward in a wandering and melancholic attempt to navigate modern Native American culture. Alexie grapples with a multitude of issues: race, violence, alcoholism, spirituality, Native American masculinity, and the collision of Native American tradition with current society.

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