BGSU Firelands kicks off its All-College Book Series Thursday (Oct. 22) with Dr. Anne Leser speaking on “Addressing Poverty,” an aspect of the series’ Native American theme.
Leser, an early childhood faculty member, will give her talk at noon in the Cedar Point Center auditorium, where all the series events will be held.
This year’s guest speaker will be author, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie. He will conclude the series at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 with a talk about his award-winning young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. His talk is free and open to the public.
Leading up to Alexie’s visit will be “A Look at the American Indian Reservation System” by faculty member Dr. Jolene Buehrer, at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 28; a movie based on Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, at 7 p.m. Oct. 28, and “Contemporary Native American Poetry,” a film and talk about Native American musician, poet and playwright Joy Harjo and Alexie, by Dr. Larry Smith, a Professor Emeritus of English, at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 4.
Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur D’Alene Indian who overcame poverty, a life-threatening physical disability and life on the reservation to become an award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is the story of Junior, a young cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take control of his future, Junior leaves the reservation to attend an all-white farm-town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. He received the 2007 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for the book.
His first collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, was published by Atlantic Monthly Press in 1993. For this story collection he received a PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award.
Alexie was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists and won the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and the Murray Morgan Prize for his first novel, Reservation Blues, published in 1995.
His movie “Smoke Signals” won two prizes at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
Alexie’s visit is made possible with the support of the Lange Trust of Sandusky Library, the BGSU Firelands Dean’s Office, Department of Humanities and Student Activities office.