Author: Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie is an incredible author and his most recent novel, Flight
, is a reflection of his remarkable ability. To me, Alexie is most effective as a poet and short story writer (he is also a very talented screenwriter, as anyone who has seen Smoke Signals
can attest), but his novels are also well worth the read. His style, though, may not appeal to some readers.Flight
tells the story of a half-white, half-Spokane Indian teenage boy called Zits. He has spent the great majority of his life in the foster care system and has known little other than abuse, neglect, disappointment, and hurt. During a recent stay in jail, Zits is befriended by a cellmate who has named himself Justice. As a result of this "friendship," Zits walks into a bank with a gun in one hand and a paint gun in the other and opens fire. Immediately after doing so, however, he is transported back in time and into the body of an FBI agent. This experience in time travel is the first of many that will make Zits confront his own violent acts. By forcing Zits to see the violence in the world and in himself, Alexie is also forcing the reader to confront the difficult history of violence that has long been a part of America's relationship with its indigenous peoples. The story ends with the hope that redemption, for Zits and perhaps even the world, may be possible after all.