Best 328 of Sherman Alexie quotes - MyQuotes

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Sherman Alexie
By Anonym 19 Sep

Sherman Alexie

We didn't talk. Didn't need to talk.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Despite all of the time he spent in Big Heart's, Wilson had never come to understand the social lives of Indians. He did not know that, in the Indian world, there is not much social difference between a rich Indian and a poor one. Generally speaking, Indian is Indian. A few who gain wealth and power as lawyers, businessmen, artists, or doctors may marry white people and keep only white friends, but generally Indians of different classes interact freely with one another. Most unemployed or working poor, some with good jobs and steady incomes, but all mixing together. Wilson also did not realize how tribal distinctions were much more important than economic ones. The rich and poor Spokanes may hang out together, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Spokanes are friendly with the Lakota or Navajo or any other tribe. The Sioux still distrust the Crow because they served as scouts for Custer. Hardly anybody likes the Pawnee. Most important, though, Wilson did not understand that the white people who pretend to be Indian are gently teased, ignored, plainly ridiculed, or beaten, depending on their degree of whiteness.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Sure, we thought the acres That we tilled were sacred, But how could we have known That wheat can haunt like ghosts

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

The librarian spoke in a reverential whisper. Corliss knew she'd misjudged this passionate woman. Maybe she dressed poorly, but she was probably great in bed, certainly believed in God and goodness, and kept an illicit collection of overdue library books on her shelves.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

These are things you should learn. Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you; your future is a skeleton walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don’t wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they always know what time it is. Now, these skeletons are made of memories, dreams, and voices. And they can trap you in the in-between, between touching and becoming. But they’re not necessarily evil, unless you let them be.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Corliss wondered what happens to a book that sits unread on a library shelf for thirty years. Can a book rightfully be called a book if it never gets read?... 'How many books never get checked out," Corliss asked the librarian. 'Most of them,' she said. Corliss never once considered the fate of library books. She loved books. How could she not worry about the unread? She felt like a disorganized scholar, an abusive mother, and a cowardly soldier. 'Are you serious?' Corliss asked. 'What are we talking about here? If you were guessing, what is the percentage of books in this library that never get checked out?' 'We're talking sixty percent of them. Seriously. Maybe seventy percent. And I'm being optimistic. It's probably more like eighty or ninety percent. This isn't a library, it's an orphanage.' The librarian talked in a reverential whisper. Corliss knew she'd misjudged this passionate woman. Maybe she dressed poorly, but she was probably great in bed, certainly believed in God and goodness, and kept an illicit collection of overdue library books on her shelves.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

There's this whole notion of being an Indian - the idea that "warrior" is a positive description of us [Indians as native Americans]. When an Indian guy does well, he's a warrior, even now. He could be a computer salesman, but if he does well, he's a warrior. I'm not a pacifist by any measure, but I'm also fully aware that the reasons I might go to war could be very dubious.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

My wife was the first romantic partner who understood both American and native parts of me - not so much the positive stuff, but the damage.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

That's how I do this life sometimes by making the ordinary just like magic and just like a card trick and just like a mirror and just like the disappearing. Every Indian learns how to be a magician and learns how to misdirect attention and the dark hand is always quicker than the white eye and no matter how close you get to my heart you will never find out my secrets and I'll never tell you and I'll never show you the same trick twice. I'm traveling heavy with illusions.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

In order to know somebody through their words, I mean, it has to be an, it has to be a letter, you know? It has to be a long e-mail. It has to be a five-page hand-written letter, you know, it has to be overwhelming and messy and sloppy as humans are.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

All of the Indians must have tragic features: tragic noses, eyes, and arms. Their hands and fingers must be tragic when they reach for tragic food. The hero must be a half-breed, half white and half Indian, preferably from a horse culture. He should often weep alone. That is mandatory. If the hero is an Indian woman, she is beautiful. She must be slender and in love with a white man. But if she loves an Indian man then he must be a half-breed, preferably from a horse culture. If the Indian woman loves a white man, then he has to be so white that we can see the blue veins running through his skin like rivers. When the Indian woman steps out of her dress, the white man gasps at the endless beauty of her brown skin. She should be compared to nature: brown hills, mountains, fertile valleys, dewy grass, wind, and clear water. If she is compared to murky water, however, then she must have a secret. Indians always have secrets, which are carefully and slowly revealed. Yet Indian secrets can be disclosed suddenly, like a storm. Indian men, of course, are storms. The should destroy the lives of any white women who choose to love them. All white women love Indian men. That is always the case. White women feign disgust at the savage in blue jeans and T-shirt, but secretly lust after him. White women dream about half-breed Indian men from horse cultures. Indian men are horses, smelling wild and gamey. When the Indian man unbuttons his pants, the white woman should think of topsoil. There must be one murder, one suicide, one attempted rape. Alcohol should be consumed. Cars must be driven at high speeds. Indians must see visions. White people can have the same visions if they are in love with Indians. If a white person loves an Indian then the white person is Indian by proximity. White people must carry an Indian deep inside themselves. Those interior Indians are half-breed and obviously from horse cultures. If the interior Indian is male then he must be a warrior, especially if he is inside a white man. If the interior Indian is female, then she must be a healer, especially if she is inside a white woman. Sometimes there are complications. An Indian man can be hidden inside a white woman. An Indian woman can be hidden inside a white man. In these rare instances, everybody is a half-breed struggling to learn more about his or her horse culture. There must be redemption, of course, and sins must be forgiven. For this, we need children. A white child and an Indian child, gender not important, should express deep affection in a childlike way. In the Great American Indian novel, when it is finally written, all of the white people will be Indians and all of the Indians will be ghosts.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Every Indian kid has access to MySpace and Facebook. But that doesn't mean they have access to books and great teachers. This idea about bringing digital tech into schools is great, but once again I'll say that this is not how people actually learn.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

And I couldn't make fun of her for that dream. It was my dream, too. And Indian boys weren't supposed to dream like that. And white girls from small towns weren't supposed to dream big, either. We were supposed to be happy with our limitations. But there was no way Penelope and I were going to sit still. Nope, we both wanted to fly.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. (young adult). is the Garden of Eden of literature.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

In the middle of the night, when you're ambiguously ethnic, like me, when you're brown, beige, mauve, siena, one of those lighter browns in the Crayola box. You have to be careful of the cops and robbers, because nobody's quite sure what you are, but everybody has assumptions.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Mick had once come across one of Wilson't books and was surprised to see his face on the back cover. Mick was even more surprised when he read the book. It was pretty good, although Mick was kind of tired of hearing about Indians. Still, Mick thought, Aristotle Little Hawk was a good Indian, even if he was just some character in a book. He wished more Indians like Little Hawk hung out in the bar. He knew Wilson claimed he had some Indian blood, said so inside the book. But Mick did not buy that shit. Mick's great-grandmother was a little bit Indian, but that did not make him Indian. Besides, who the hell would want to be Indian when you could just as easily be white?

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

The people who loved me when I was seven years old love my books, and the people who didn't like me when I was seven years old don't like my books.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Because I want to be remembered.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Sherman Alexie

You read a book for the story, for each of its words," Gordy said, "and you draw your cartoons for the story, for each of the words and images. And, yeah, you need to take that seriously, but you should also read and draw because really good books and cartoons give you a boner." I was shocked: "Did you just say books should give me a boner?" "Yes, I did." "Are you serious?" "Yeah... don't you get excited about books?" "I don't think that you're supposed to get THAT excited about books." "You should get a boner! You have to get a boner!" Gordy shouted. "Come on!" We ran into the Reardan High School Library. "Look at all these books," he said. "There aren't that many," I said. It was a small library in a small high school in a small town. "There are three thousand four hundred and twelve books here," Gordy said. "I know that because I counted them." "Okay, now you're officially a freak," I said. "Yes, it's a small library. It's a tiny one. But if you read one of these books a day, it would still take you almost ten years to finish." "What's your point?" "The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know." Wow. That was a huge idea. Any town, even one as small as Reardan, was a place of mystery. And that meant Wellpinit, the smaller, Indian town, was also a place of mystery. "Okay, so it's like each of these books is a mystery. Every book is a mystery. And if you read all of the books ever written, it's like you've read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you keep on learning so much more you need to learn." "Yes, yes, yes, yes," Gordy said. "Now doesn't that give you a boner?" "I am rock hard," I said.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

If I were a doctor nobody would be inviting me to talk to reservations. I'd be a different person. Writers can influence more people.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Do you understand how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the four hugest words in the world when they're put together. You can do it. I can do it. Let's do it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Everybody likes to have a place to think, to meditate, to eat a burrito.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

I think a lot of Indians want Indian artists to be cultural cheerleaders rather than cultural investigators.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

[Or perhaps my friends should have realized that they shouldn't have left behind the FRICKING REASON FOR THEIR PROTEST! And that thought just cracked me up.] It was like my friends had walked over the backs of baby seals in order to get to the beach where they could protest against the slaughter of baby seals.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Grief is scary and beautiful, too, I thought, but did not text.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Great pain is repetitive. Grief is repetitive.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

I pretended I belonged.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

My father was sleepless most of his life. So by the age of five, I was awake with him all night long, watching bad television or we'd lie in the same bed, and I'd read my comic books while he read his latest spy or mystery novel.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Reardan is the rich white farm town that sits in the wheat fields exactly 22 miles away from the Rez. And it's a hick town I suppose filled with farmers and rednecks and racists cops who stop every Indian that drives through. During one week when I was little dad got stopped three times for DWI- Driving While Indian.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Ialways think it's funny when Indians celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean, sure, the Indians and Pilgrims were best friends during the first Thanksgiving, but a few years later, the Pilgrims were shooting Indians. So I'm never quite sure why we eat Turkey like everybody else. (101)

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

I'm a method writer. In order to write about the emotion, I have to experience it. I get physically tired and exhausted, devoting hours and hours and hours to it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

I'm honored by your concern. I would like To gather all of the books that contain The words "mother" and "grief," set them aflame, And dance as they burn.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

It's not oil that runs the world, it's shame.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

But something magical happened to me when I went to Reardan. Overnight I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with confidence. I mean, I'd always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole - I wasn't expected to be good so I wasn't. But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good. I wanted to live up to the expectations. I guess that's what it comes down to. The power of expectations. And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Shit," he said. "I don't know why you're feeling sorry for yourself because you ain't had to fight a war. You're lucky. Shit, all you had was that damn Desert Storm. Should have called it Dessert Storm because it just made the fat cats get fatter. It was all sugar and whipped cream with a cherry on top. And besides that, you didn't even have to fight in it. All you lost during that was was sleep because you stayed up all night watching CNN.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Thomas Builds-the-Fire closed his eyes and told this story: “I remember when I had this dream that told me to go to Spokane, to stand by the falls in the middle of the city and wait for a sign. I knew I had to go there but I didn’t have a car. Didn’t have a license. I was only thirteen. So I walked all the way, took me all day, and I finally made it to the falls. I stood there for an hour waiting. Then your dad came walking up. ‘What the hell are you doing here? He asked me. I said, ‘waiting for a vision.’ Then your father said, ‘All you’re going to get here is mugged.’ So he drove me to Denny’s, bought me dinner, and then drove me home to the reservation. For a long time I was mad because I thought my dreams had lied to me. But they didn’t. Your dad was my vision. ‘Take care of each other’ is what my dreams were saying. ‘Take care of each other.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

In 2016, white conservatives elected as president a serial liar who is likely the most fearful and paranoid and wildly insecure white man who has ever run for office. And those white folks elected him because they believe they are victims. Yes, I am a Spokane Indian-an indigenous American-who grew up with white folks who think this country is being stolen from them. Hahahahahaahahahahaahahahaahahaha.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

What if someone picks on me?" I asked Then I'll pick on them". What if someone picks my nose?" I asked. The I'll pick your nose, too" Rowdy said.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Or maybe I could have anesthetized myself with homework and extra credit and binge-reading.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Sherman Alexie

The white woman across the aisle from me says 'Look, look at all the history, that house on the hill there is over two hundred years old, ' as she points out the window past me into what she has been taught. I have learned little more about American history during my few days back East than what I expected and far less of what we should all know of the tribal stories whose architecture is 15,000 years older than the corners of the house that sits museumed on the hill. 'Walden Pond, ' the woman on the train asks, 'Did you see Walden Pond? ' and I don't have a cruel enough heart to break her own by telling her there are five Walden Ponds on my little reservation out West and at least a hundred more surrounding Spokane, the city I pretended to call my home. 'Listen, ' I could have told her. 'I don't give a shit about Walden. I know the Indians were living stories around that pond before Walden's grandparents were born and before his grandparents' grandparents were born. I'm tired of hearing about Don-fucking-Henley saving it, too, because that's redundant. If Don Henley's brothers and sisters and mothers and father hadn't come here in the first place then nothing would need to be saved.' But I didn't say a word to the woman about Walden Pond because she smiled so much and seemed delighted that I thought to bring her an orange juice back from the food car. I respect elders of every color. All I really did was eat my tasteless sandwich, drink my Diet Pepsi and nod my head whenever the woman pointed out another little piece of her country's history while I, as all Indians have done since this war began, made plans for what I would do and say the next time somebody from the enemy thought I was one of their own.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Sometimes, she wondered what she was missing, if her life was somehow incomplete because she didn't see the reflection of her face in the face of a son or daughter. Maybe. That's what mothers told her: Oh, you don't know what you're missing; it's spiritual; I feel closer to the earth, to the creator of all things. Perhaps all of that was true--it must be true--but Grace also knew that mothering was work, was manual labor, and unpaid manual labor at that. She'd known too many women who'd vanished after childbirth; women whose hopes and fears had been pushed to the back of the family closet; women who'd magically been replaced by their children and their children's desires.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Estranged from the tribe that gives no protection, What happens to the soul that hates its reflection?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

If you really want a woman to love you, then you have to dance. And if you don’t want to dance, then you’re going to have to work extra hard to make a woman love you forever, and you will always run the risk that she will leave you at any second for a man who knows how to tango.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sherman Alexie

If one reads enough books, one has a fighting chance.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

That's how I do this life sometimes by making the ordinary just like magic and just like a card trick and just like a mirror and just like disappearing. Every Indian learns how to be a magician and learns how to misdirect attention and the dark hand is always quicker than the white eye and no matter how close you get to my heart you will never find out my secrets and I'll never tell you and I'll never show you the same trick twice. I'm traveling heavy with illusions.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sherman Alexie

It's a weird thing. Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear. But somehow or another, Indians have forgotten the reservations were meant to be death camps.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Sherman Alexie

Okay, so it’s like each of these books is a mystery every book is a mystery. And if you read all the books ever written, it’s like you’ve read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you just keep on learning there is so more you need to learn.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sherman Alexie

The problem is that too many adults think their kids' lives are simple, or they try to make their lives simple, when their emotional lives are just as complicated as ours. They might have a few less tools to deal with it because they're young, but the emotions are all the same, and the subject matter is all the same.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sherman Alexie

He felt split in two, one crazy man eating hair and one rational man watching a crazy man eat hair. He chewed and swallowed the last pieces of his father's life. He felt like he was building a museum of pain, a freak show, where he was the only visitor viewing the only mutant screaming the only prayer he knew: Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back, Daddy. Come back Daddy...