Sherman Alexie

Screenwriter, Novelist, Poet
Award-winning American Indian poet, short story writer and novelist Sherman Alexie is an enrolled member of the Spokane tribe who grew up on the reservation about 50 miles from Spokane, Washington. Though he first ... Read more »
Born: 09/29/1966 in Wellpinit, Washington, USA

Filmography

Writer (3)

49? 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Business of Fancydancing 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Smoke Signals 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (2)

Winter in the Blood 2014 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Smoke Signals 1998 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)
Director (2)

49? 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

The Business of Fancydancing 2002 (Movie)

(Director)
Music (1)

Smoke Signals 1998 (Movie)

songs("Treaties" "Reservations Blues" "John Wayne's Teeth" "A Million Miles Away" "Father and Farther") (Song)
Actor (1)

Biography

Award-winning American Indian poet, short story writer and novelist Sherman Alexie is an enrolled member of the Spokane tribe who grew up on the reservation about 50 miles from Spokane, Washington. Though he first attracted attention for his poetry, he earned increasing praise and interest from the film industry for his prose, but he rejected offers from producers who wanted to cast dark-skinned whites, choosing to wait for an Indian to come forward who would share his vision for a film. NYU-trained director Chris Eyre, a Cheyenne-Arapaho, contacted Alexie through a mutual friend after discovering his work, and together they developed material from his 1993 short story collection "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" at the 1995 Sundance Filmmakers and Screenwriters Lab. The result was the short "Somebody Kept Saying Powwow", culled from the second act of what would become the feature "Smoke Signals".

Relationships

Diane Alexie

Wife
an Indian of Hidatsa, Ho-Chunk and Potawatomie lineage

Sherman Alexie

Father
a Cour d'Alene Indian

Lillian Alexie

Mother
of Spokane Indian heritage

EDUCATION

Gonzaga University

Spokane , Washington

starred for the Reardan Indians basketball team at the all-white high school he attended, just off the Spokane reservation

Washington State University

Pullman , Washington
graduated

Milestones

2002

Feature directorial debut, "The Business of Fancydancing"; screened at Sundance

1998

"Smoke Signals", adapted from material in "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven", premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award and the Dramatic Filmmaker's Trophy; in addition to writing the screenplay, Alexie provided lyri

1996

Second novel, "Indian Killer"; ShadowCatcher Entertainment (producer of "Smoke Signals") has agreed to produce a movie adaptation written and directed by Alexie

1996

Named by Granta magazine as one of the 20 best American novelists under 40

1995

Published first novel, "Reservation Blues"

1995

Together with American Indian director Chris Eyre, began developing material at the Sundance Filmmakers and Screenwriters Lab, resulting in the short, "Somebody Kept Saying Powwow", culled from the second act of the longer script that would become "Smoke

1993

Published award-winning collection of stories, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"

1991

Found a publisher in NYC, Hanging Loose Press, which brought out "The Business of Fancydancing", a book of poetry

1989

Gave up liquor at age 23 after spending much of college in an alcoholic stupor ("One of those Indians upholding the stereotype"); has not had a drink since (date approximate)

Born and raised in the Spokane Indian Reservation (about 50 miles from Spokane, WA); hydrocephalic at birth, underwent a brain operation at the age of six months

Signed by Miramax to write and direct screen adaptation of his novel "Reservation Blues"

Bonus Trivia

.

His official Web site is at http://www.fallsapart.com/index.html

.

Alexie received a Washington State Arts Fellowship in 1991 and a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992.

.

He was guest editor of the Winter 2000 issue of Ploughshares.

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