The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

alexie_absolutely.jpgI ran into the English section of the library and this book just happened to be there. I read the back cover and it seemed interesting to me, so I bought it. It was a good decision: in less than 24 hours from starting to read it ( and keeping my usual life, since as much as I’d rather spend my whole days reading I’m not that lucky) I was already finished. I closed the book last night with that peace and kind of sadness that good books provide with.

This is an hilarious heartbreaking bittersweet true story, based on the very own’s author experiences , -Sherman Alexie-, who lived in his early years as a hydrocephalic -which means that he was born with watter in the brain- budding cartoonist in the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit and decided, after seeing his mother’s name in one of the school books, to leave his school and go to Reardan’s school, an all-white high school with no Native Americans but their mascot in it.

scanJunior, as he is called in the rez, or Arnold Spirit as he is known in Reardan, tells us trough a compelling true diary -dressed with the funny illustrations of Ellen Forney-, his constant conflict of feeling half Indian and half White by moving everyday into such different worlds, only separated by the limiting frontier of the reservation. The price he pays for following his dreams is tough: his best friend Rowdy “hates him”, as do the rest of the rez. But he also learns to live with courage, to experience the pain caused by several losses and to grow up taking care of his own future. He will also meet so many different people that will become important in his life, and with all these experiences he starts to understand his two worlds, the rez and the outside, with all bad and good things in both of them.

areyoupoor“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is one of those gems worth to spend your time with, written by a poet, writer, screenwriter, director and stand-up comedian, who has made his first foray into the young adult genre and has accomplished it brilliantly. It’s always a pleasure to discover such literary engaging treasures that surprise you and make you feel the real joy of reading again and again.

Laia Vilaseca

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