Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This collection of stories is not all new, which dropped the rating (not because they're not good stories, but because I'd already read them and really would have loved more new stuff).
What Alexie means by "Blasphemy" is, I think, that he's unafraid to talk about the things that most Indians don't want to talk about: the alcoholism, the HUD homes, the poverty of the rez, etc.. Very few of the stories fail to touch on one, if not all, of those themes, hammering home again and again how the Indian's lives are not on par with white lives, let alone those of other immigrant groups. The people here before any of the rest of us have been reduced to a population that is largely uneducated, addicted to alcohol and drugs, and absent a hopeful future.
It's difficult to choose a favorite from among this collection, but "Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church" and "Basic Training" brought tears to my eyes.
ARC provided by publisher.