File Size: 1790 KB
Print Length: 465 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 13, 2017)
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
I expected it to be personal, and it was... But in none of them of the ways I think it would be.
Typically the blurp with this book states it's about families, love, loss, and forgiveness, and it is about those activities. Certainly. But what it didn't say was that it would be a book that would challenge everything I do believe I know of white privilege, or that it would sweep myself away into a global I didn't know existed. Or perhaps that I would discover, that for all I care about equality, diversity, and tolerance, I still know so little about those who aren't like me. This IS a book about families, love, reduction, and forgiveness. But it can also a book that taught me about who I am, and who I'm not, and who I wish to become.
And who I wish to become, is someone who is not blind and ignorant to the injustice and suffering of those around me. Simply no matter what shape that happens to take.
I know this review is small and pathetic. That expresses nothing I feel, when the things i feel is so large and all-consuming. But at least I can say that no book has moved myself this much since I read the one written by the mother of one of the Columbine shooters., Sherman Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian writer from Wellpinit, Wa, where he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He is best known for such titles as THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE RECORD OF A PART-TIME NATIVE INDIAN, THE LONE RANGER PLUS TONTO FISTFIGHT IN BLISS and FLIGHT. He's written critically acclaimed poems, books and short stories, and now has bestowed after his readership a memoir.
Alexie’s mother died from small-cell cancer on Come july 1st 1, 2015. The memoir Alexie wrote consequently of her death follows a grieving son as this individual tries to come to conditions with the tumultuous connection he had with his abusive yet affectionate mother, Lillian. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is an unflinching memoir composed of poems, reflections and stories revealing flashbacks from Alexie’s childhood maturing on the reservation to his present struggle to reduce his mother. Lillian Alexie was as complex as she was ferocious. The lady was the type of woman who would throw a soda can at her son’s hydrocephalic head but would also give food from the woman family’s limited supply to help an even poorer family.
Alexie believes his mother saved his life twice. First, in 1973 when Lillian quit ingesting following a violent New Year’s Eve party. And again, more than three decades ago when she agreed to let Alexie leave the reservation and attend school in Reardan. These types of decisions allowed him not only to survive, but for become the writer this individual is today. However, this memoir isn’t limited only to reflections about his mother. Her death is the center from where his writing revolves around. He discusses some of his most traumatizing and profound moments of his life, from being bullied and abused on the booking to his most recent brain surgery. He doesn’t shy away from the topics that have plagued his life, such as alcoholism, racism, colonialism and rape culture.
In the book’s final chapters, Alexie shows that the kid who appears on the cover with Lillian is not your pet, as most readers would assume, but his older half-sister, Mary, who, in 1981, was killed in a trailer fire with her husband; she was only 27. In the 6 months leading up to her death, Lillian experienced also lost her sibling and mother. After being attentive to his mother’s determined wailing at Mary’s funeral service, Alexie believes something shattered inside of her. The two women, Lillian and Jane, are thought to be products of rape, which Alexie learns while conducting his research for this book. He arduously struggles to understand his mother and the anger she caused on him and the ones around her. In his quest to forgive her, Alexie remembers the violence and pain that she came from and endured. He also recalls the violence and pain that have been committed against his tribe for generations.
Alexie unconventionally starts \ TO SAY AN INDIVIDUAL LOVE ME by asserting himself as an difficult to rely on narrator and simply a storyteller. He doesn’t build a linear memoir as most are framed. He also doesn’t follow one style of writing. Typically the memoir jumps from tale to the next; from earlier times to the present; from poetry to the entire. Alexie shares a dialogue he had with his wife after she read his book for the first time. She analyzes its construction to the material squares from which his mother had constructed for years her famous blankets --- the same blankets that sometimes were the family’s only source of income. Alexie admits which he only realized he experienced “constructed a quilt of words” after reading it for the first time. Then he found the patterns and replication, which play a major role in his storytelling. He often repeats words, lines and stories to demonstrate their impact and meaning.
This is unlike any other memoir I’ve ever picked up. Alexie’s writing is raw, funny, smart and unashamed, shameless. His use of metaphor expertly crafts a visual to accompany his stories that leave them unforgettable. I recommend YOU SELDOM HAVE TO SAY AN INDIVIDUAL LOVE ME to both fans of the writer and newcomers. For anyone familiar with Alexie’s work, his memoir will add ideas into their favorite stories and can lead to epiphanies about one of their favorite writers. For first-timers, the book will pleasant you into his world and compel you to pick up more of his work immediately after turning the last page.
Reviewed by Catherine Rubino, Until this guide, I'd only read Alexie's THE SINGLE RANGE AND TONTO FISTFIGHT IN HEAVEN and noticed him speak at an authors' panel. That i knew that he was something of any gadfly, in that this individual is unabashedly Native yet contemporary. I wasn't well prepared for how astonishing and powerful this memoir is--reading it was like reading a book I've been awaiting my entire life. Yes, it is long, and lumpy, and idiosyncratic. Alexie's poetry may not be the most artful or poetically-traditional. But the candor and honesty on display in these pages feels like more than a person stripping himself and his life bare. It felt like watching him do surgery on himself without anaesthesia. Brave and daring, Alexie's achievement is both personal and individual, but it feels like a vision quest a warrior undertakes on behalf of the whole tribe--in the case, us., I'm a huge lover of Sherman Alexie, and possess purchased and read most of his fiction and most of his poetry. This is by far his most powerful piece of writing. I read it on loan from the library first, then acquired it for my Kindle, so i could not only revisit it, but take it with me. When you have never read his work and want a soft entry, watch the film " Smoke Signals" or read his first book of short stories, " Typically the Lone Ranger and Engreído Fistfight in Heaven. " If you like those, read about his lived experiences., It was difficult to put this book down, and it also was difficult to read it. The terrible things that white The usa has done to the indigenous Americans is overwhelming to read and also most necessary to education and learning ourselves about. Learning about the culture of physical violence and rape within the reservation and how it mirrored the violence and rape of the indigenous people was again, horrifying. Mr. Alexie's story includes much laughter as well, which allowed by to keep reading. His grieving the death of the dying of his mother was intimate and insightful., Exactly what a writer - this individual put himself out there and shared such a private story of grief and struggle that was at times heart wrenching - it was truly a touching tribute. It had been also so unique in the use of prose then poetry then narrative then free verse. I really could hardly put it down.
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