The Business of Fancydancing: The Screenplayby Sherman Alexie
Drama. Native American Studies. "One of the most vital of the younger writers. Watch this guy. He's making myth"—Joy Harjo. "Displays a mastery of language, a breadth of vision, and an astonishing range of voice and emotion"—Studies in American Indian Literature. "The high spirit of Crazy Horse is alive in this book and dances/em>
Drama. Native American Studies. "One of the most vital of the younger writers. Watch this guy. He's making myth"—Joy Harjo. "Displays a mastery of language, a breadth of vision, and an astonishing range of voice and emotion"—Studies in American Indian Literature. "The high spirit of Crazy Horse is alive in this book and dances powerfully"—American Book Review. THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING is writer/director Sherman Alexie's first film since his 1998 smash success Smoke Signals, which he wrote. A ceremony of poetry, song, dance, humor, grief and memory, THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING is the story of one man's art and life, and the messy collision between the two.
It's a rich, panoramic portrayal of contemporary Seattle that uses the form of the mystery to tell some uncomfortable home truths about Indian-white relations, and indeed racism in all its forms. Alexie begins by focusing on the ironically named John Smith, who was either given up for adoption by, or stolen away from, his teenaged Indian mother. He is raised by loving and conscientious white "parents" and finds himself in traumatized adulthood "an Indian without a tribe," a misfit who belongs to no culture, wandering the streets among the city's homeless, seeking an outlet for the unfocused rage he knows he can no longer suppress. Is John Smith the "Indian killer" who stalks and murders white men, scalping them for good measure, terrorizing the city and provoking a rash of racially motivated violence? Alexie teases us with that possibility right up to the last page, meanwhile populating his exciting story with a host of keenly observed and rigorously analyzed characters. The most memorable include Marie Polatkin, a fiery Native American college student and activist with no use for sentimental white liberals; Jack Wilson, an ex-cop turned popular novelist, whose exploration (and exploitation) of a small trace of "Indian blood" in his ancestry infuriates his full-blooded "brothers"; and John Smith's adoptive parents, Olivia and Daniel, whose decency and good will are portrayed with fairness and respect. Alexie succeeds brilliantly at suggesting the time- bombticking character of John Smith's ravaged psyche, and the novel rips along at a breathless pace.
Both a splendidly constructed and wonderfully readable thrillerand a haunting, challenging articulation of the plight and the pride of contemporary Native Americans.
- Hanging Loose Press
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- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Meet the Author
Sherman Alexie's poems, fiction, essays and films have won him an international following since his first book, THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING, was published in 1992. SMOKE SIGNALS, the film he adapted from one of his short stories and co-produced, enlarged his audience still further. Alexie's awards include the Stranger Genius Award in Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature in Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature as well as honors and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Foundation, and a citation as "One of 20 Best American Novelists Under the Age of 40" from Granta magazine. An enrolled Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, Alexie lives in Seattle with his wife and sons.
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