He’s won the Pen/Faulkner, the National Book Award and a slew of others. He’s written movies, poetry, novels and short stories. He’s one of ours – or, at least, Seattle’s. And he’s not afraid to speak his mind.
But it is because Sherman Alexie’s 2007 bestseller “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” made the list of most-challenged (or banned) books of 2010 that he is coming to Puyallup to speak next week.
The talk and book-signing is being organized by the Puyallup Public Library in honor of Banned Books Week, an annual national event that booksellers and libraries began in 1982 in response to an upsurge in “challenges” to books – that is, requests to have them banned.
Alexie’s book is still up there on the Top 10 list of challenged books this year, along with the “Twilight” vampire series and (still) Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
Why is it still on the list? Swearing, racism, sexual issues, violence and religious viewpoints are typical reasons books land on Banned Books Week’s Most Challenged List.
Yet there’s no doubt that plenty of people like Alexie’s work, and for good reason: He’s a Native American writer telling about his own youth on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his experiences since.
Alexie’s talk and book-signing already has proved so popular that the library moved it into its Pioneer Park Pavilion. Alexie will sign books (available for purchase at the event) as well as discuss issues of censorship, intellectual freedom and his own work.
Listen to the author speak from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian Ave., Puyallup. Free.
Also, check out a screening of Alexie’s “Smoke Signals” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Puyallup Library, 324 S. Meridian Ave., Puyallup.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568, email@example.com