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NWC News Desk

NWC online class studies Native American author Sherman Alexie

Posted February 22, 2016
By NWC News Desk

POWELL, Wyoming — Sherman Alexie, famed Native American author, poet and screenwriter, is the topic of a Northwest College online class starting March 14 and culminating May 3 with a lecture by Alexie himself.

Alexie is best known for connecting readers around the world to the American Indian experience by making them laugh, cry and think through his semi-autobiographical writings.

Students in NWC’s “Cultural Studies Using Sherman Alexie’s Literature” will read and discuss selections from his writings to better understand the philosophical, cultural, spiritual and historical underpinnings of his authorial vision.

Instructor Amy McKinney said the lessons learned in this one-credit class can be implemented in classrooms, workplaces and everyday lives. The course is designed as an online seminar and will be discussion based.

One of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century, Alexie is described by Men’s Journal as, “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.”

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington and draws on his experience there to influence the way people think about cultural issues by offering critical commentary on the plight of Native Americans in contemporary times.

His most widely recognized works include a book of short stories titled “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” and the movie it inspired, “Smoke Signals.”

His novels, such as “Reservation Blues,” “Indian Killer,” and “The Toughest Indian in the World,” have won numerous awards and accolades, including Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Award, the PEN/Malamud Award and Publishers Weekly’s Book of the Year.

Alexie’s National Book Award-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by Time.

Students in the class will have reserved seating at Alexie’s May 3 lecture on campus.

For more information or to register for this Northwest College class, contact Ronda Peer, dean of extended campus and workforce, at 307-754-6123 or

NWC online class studies Native American author Sherman Alexie