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The Instant New York Times BestsellerAn Amazon editors' Top 20 books of 2017Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in NonfictionA searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.Family relationships are never siThe Instant New York Times BestsellerAn Amazon editors' Top 20 books of 2017Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in NonfictionA searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It's these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship.One of the most anticipated books of 2017--Entertainment Weekly and Bustle ...

Title : You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781478964377
Format Type : Audiobook
Number of Pages : 13 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Reviews

  • Elyse
    2018-10-14 14:56

    Audiobook:The intensityThe ferociousnessThe vibrancy The powerThe effectivenessThe aggressivenessand PASSION..........in which Sherman Alexie reads his memoir sizzles-and burns with such force - at times 'just listening' to Alexie speak felt comparable to being in the stands with 150,000 screaming fans at Laguna Seca watching NASCAR drivers. THIS BOOK IS *EVERYTHING* the blurb says it is and 100 times MORE!!! I CRIED ... oh I cried... I swear it's not my fault: SHERMAN ALEXIE ABUSED ME .... HE DID IT TO ME... HE 'made' me cry: meanie!!!I LAUGHED .... I laughed so hard a few times... I'm laughing as I type this just thinking about what I laughed at. This is one - if not - THE - most incredible Memoir-audiobooks I've 'ever' listened to. A bipolar mother with a bipolar son -- is just not enough! Add an alcoholic father... 'murders -in - training'- in the neighborhood... abusers and bullying as common as chewing gum... poverty...... yep: growing up on A reservation in Spokane, Washington.... was like a picnic with apple and berry pie. Dysfunction - complicated - and surviving.... are just a few words that come to mind as I think about the way Alexie wrote this book -AND DELIVERED IT LIKE THE MASTER PERFORMER STORYTELLER HE'S KNOWN FOR......Poop like a walrus? ..... An Indian is measured by what they give not by with the keep.....How does one be an atheist at a Spokane Indian funeral? Stay awake for 29 hours and guide your mother to transition......Lillian Alexi : Alexie's Mom: she was charismatic and loved attention like a fancy movie star actress according to Sherman Alexi. She slept on a couch for over 40 years.....made beautiful quilts - was a healer - and was as outrageously complex like Alexie himself. Alexie says... HE was the ASSHOLE .....His mother was very hard on him - abusive - mean - ( they did not talk once for a three-year period) - he absorbed her anger, her pain, but also her courage and also her love. She taught him how to survive. Yet.... they did not get along well. His mother helped addicts get clean... she helped many other kids - more than her own. If his mother yelled at OTHER children - they listened. Those other children's mommies wouldn't come attack her for correcting their kids like in today's world either. Lillian was a dictionary-his mother knew more words that had not been spoken for thousands of years. She didn't teach Alexie the tribal language. She told Alexie:"ENGLISH WILL BE YOUR WEAPON". Alexie says....."she was right, she was right, she was right"!!! Alexie's poetry is brilliantly beautiful!!!!!Alexie touches us - shakes us - If profanity is offensive to you -- BEWARE!! Pow Wow .......GOD DAMN EXTRAORDINARY!!!!!!P.S. I'm glad I own this audiobook. I'll definitely listen to it again.

  • Brina
    2018-10-19 15:01

    As a leading voice in Native American literature, works by Sherman Alexie are always a joy to read. Taking biographical events and turning them into fiction, Alexie applies a mix of humor to serious topics, especially when discussing the status of Native American life both on and off of reservations. When I found out that Alexie had penned a memoir titled You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir which paid homage to his mother, I had my curiosity piqued. A raw mix of introspection, poetry, and prose, Alexie's work is an eye opening memoir that is both a joy and painful to read.Sherman Alexie's mother Lillian passed away in 2015 after suffering from Parkinson's disease. The last member of her tribe to fully speak Spokane, Lillian was revered by her entire reservation, her funeral attended by many. She often times supported her family by quilting as her husband was an alcoholic and often went off on binges and left the family for days at a time. The patchwork quilts brought in enough income to pay bills and put food on the table for her children, although it was hardly enough. This lead to a strained relationship with Sherman who wanted even as a child desired more than life on the reservation. By the time of Lillian's diagnosis, Sherman had lived off of the reservation for nearly thirty six years and often supported his mother and sisters financially from afar. As a storyteller, he turned to poetry and other writing as his means of grieving for his mother. Resulting, is this 450 page memoir.Although the memoir is full of Alexie's humor, it is at times tough to read. As a child he suffered from encephalitis which left him prone to seizures, leaving his face malformed and the brunt of teasing and taunting by the rest of the reservation children. Wearing government issued glasses and attending a reservation school where the teachers verbally and physically abused Indian children, Sherman had little opportunity to excel. Bullied his whole life for his looks, by seventh grade he chose to leave the reservation and attend Reardan, a white public school. Once in Reardan, Alexie never looked back, and his lived his entire adult life in Seattle as what he calls an urban Indian. His decision is one reason for his strained relationship with Lillian, who is as Sherman says married to her reservation. Lillian's life had been no picnic either: a child of rape, a teenaged victim of rape who later lost that daughter to a fire, a wife of an alcoholic. Yet, Lillian somehow survived and was viewed as a respected member of her tribe by many, even if the traumatic events early in her life had resulted with a strained at best relationship with her son.Choosing to be with his wife and children as his mother lay dying, Sherman turned to what he knew best as a means for grief support: poetry and story telling. The poems in this memoir can be repetitive at times yet are peppered with Alexie's brand of humor. He pens odes to his mother and includes issues crucial to the future of Native Americans, including their relationship with salmon and alcoholism, which has claimed many of his tribe too soon. Yet, the central focus is Lillian, her tough life, her perseverance, and Sherman's means of grieving for her despite his own medical issues. The sections discussing rape are especially powerful and tough to digest so he diffuses this with comparing Lillian to salmon, a fish revered in Spokane culture. Despite the difficult at times relationship that Sherman and Lillian enjoyed, he appreciated all that she did for him and his siblings and honored her in this memoir. I especially enjoyed his couplet poetry about Lillian's love of quilting, which was both a labor of love and a means of supporting her family. The lines were heartfelt and must have been extremely difficult to write.People turn to different means of grieving. Writer Sherman Alexie turned to writing poetry and prose. Previously I had only read his The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian which is a graphic autobiographical novel detailing his children and decision to attend Reardan High School. The novel was full of self-deprecating humor which had me chuckling at difficult issues. Alexie chooses to diffuse his grief with humor as well. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir is along these same lines of dark humor and was as much of a labor of love as Lillian's quilts. Alexie is indeed a leading Native American voice and it is tough to rate this memoir anything less than 4.5 stars.

  • Esil
    2018-10-07 18:39

    I was really hesitant to read or listen to You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. For some reason, I thought it would be relentlessly heartbreaking, and it's rare I'm in the mood for memoirs that are focused on sad abusive childhoods. There's plenty of heartbreak in this memoir, but there's a whole lot more to this one that had me loving it from beginning to end. I listened to the audio as read by Alexie and here is what I loved about it in no particular order:-The language, often playful and poetic, but also straightforward in its honesty.-The meandering structure, which Alexie himself describes as a concentric quilt (his mother was a quilter.) Notionally, this is a memoir about Alexie, his mother and his mother's death, but it circles back over and over different pivotal aspects of his life, coming at them each time from subtly different angles.-The raw honesty. This is no romanticization of life on the reserve and life in the US for Indigenous people. But no one is going to walk away from this one with easy stereotypes left unchecked.-Alexie playfully lets us know that he may not always be a reliable raconteur.-The voices he lovingly gives his family members as he inserts them into his story.-His voice generally.-His unconditional love for his sisters, wife and children.-His complicated love for his father.-His even more complicated love for his mother, with all her flaws, strength and crazy intelligence.-And, again, the language.This may not be for everyone but I highly recommend hesitant readers give it a try.Thanks to a few enthusiastic GR friends -- including Julie E -- whose reviews nudged me to read this one. I hope my review nudges a few more readers...

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-10-18 17:37

    I have only read one previous book by this author, his rather well known The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Never knew how autobiographical it really was, but after reading this I can definitely see where he was coming from. Searing in it's honestly, this is a powerful telling of his life, hard to read at times, but his ironic wit keeps it bearable. His conflicted feelings toward his mother, even after her death, so many things he could not understand. Made for repetitious reading at times as he tries in different ways to work out these feelings. Uses poetry, essays and thoughts, chronicling his health, which is another difficult subject as he has been through so much, his therapy, his family and all class, prejudice and his treatment because of this, and much more. Some incidents are humorous, some unbelievable, some so sad, can't help feeling sorry for the young boy he was and applaud the success, hard won, that he has as an adult.Actually made the book, Glass Castle, seem tame.ARC from publisher.

  • Julie Ehlers
    2018-09-30 18:41

    I read You Don't Have to Say You Love Me back in June, and since then I've felt weirdly possessive of it. Whenever I saw someone else on Goodreads was reading it, I'd think indignantly, "HEY! Someone else is reading MY book!" And when I saw that someone else had reviewed it, I'd think, "HEY! What's that person doing, reviewing MY book?!?" It happened again just this morning! I was just about to write that this level of possessiveness is irrational, but honestly, in the case of this book I don't think it's irrational at all.Thankfully, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is 450 pages long, because if it were shorter you would have less time to spend with Sherman Alexie. Sherman Alexie is a funny, funny guy, but he also knows how to move you so much that you're struggling not to burst into tears on your commuter train. Sherman Alexie is the first to admit that he may never, ever forgive his late mother for how she treated him, yet his love for her is palpable. Sherman Alexie understands that grief is illogical and that you never totally get over it. No one brings the rez to life like Sherman Alexie. Sherman Alexie can fill his memoir with poetry, and even though it's technically masterful, it's also totally accessible and you will like it even if you think you don't like poetry. When you spend 450 pages with Sherman Alexie, you come away from the experience feeling like you've made a friend, but not that friend who just agrees with you all the time. Sherman Alexie is the friend who's going to be honest with you and tell you what you need to hear, but he'll still be there when everyone else has slipped away. Do yourself a favor and don't resist Sherman Alexie. Sherman Alexie has what you need.

  • Laurie Anderson
    2018-10-02 17:40

    Astoundingly good. I suspect I am going to reread this many, many times; Alexie is the brilliant combination of great storyteller and artist. This is a devastating, flawless book.

  • Rachel León
    2018-10-05 22:57

    I'm so picky when it comes to memoirs, but this one is truly something special. Sherman Alexie blends poetry and prose with a healthy dose of humor and gut-wrenching honesty. I loved how this book basically took everything great from his other work, put it in a blender, and added a wallop of naked honesty. The result is beautiful, heartbreaking, and breathtaking. (And at times, very, very funny.)Whether or not you've ever read Sherman Alexie, whether or not you enjoy memoirs, this book is so completely worth reading. It's one of my favorites of the year so far. It's just so, so good.

  • Erin
    2018-10-07 19:02

    I can not imagine what it must feel like to grow up not feeling loved by your mother and even hating her. It just must be the worst feeling in the world. In You Don't Have to Say You Love Me award winning author Sherman Alexie attempts to come to terms with his relationship with an abusive and mentally ill mother. Sherman Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian (he calls his self an Indian so thats what imma call him) on a Spokane Indian Reservation in complete poverty. He lived in HUD housing sometimes with no food, water, or power. His father was an alcoholic who eventually drank his self to death. His mother was an untreated Bipolar(untreated because she couldn't afford health insurance!!!!) and was both loved and feared by everyone who knew her. Alexie fled the reservation while still a teenager and in doing so probably saved his own life. Over 459 pages Alexie works out how to both forgive and better understand his late mother. He admits multiple times that he and his mother are a lot alike. They both are Bipolar and have a tendency to both shutdown and lash out at people. I won't tell you more because I feel this book should be experienced first hand.This is my first time reading anything by Sherman Alexie but it won't be my last. This story is rich in emotion, honesty and its very funny( I was going to say devastatingly funny but its used as a blurb on the back of the book)Read this book.

  • Donalyn
    2018-09-30 21:35

    Stunning. NBA contender. Don't miss this one.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-09-27 19:48

    “You don't have to say you love me just be close at handYou don't have to stay forever I will understandBelieve me, believe me”--Dusty Springfield“In the indigenous world, we assign sacred value to circles. But sometimes a circle just means you keep returning to the same shit again and again. This book is a series of circles, sacred and profane.”—Alexie"My grief has cast me in a lethargic cabaret.So pay the cover charge and take your seat.This mourning has become a relentless productionAnd I've got seventy-eight roles to play.”--AlexieWow, this is one helluva ride of a book. Sherman Alexie, the author of several books of poetry and fiction, including The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, writes his first memoir, all 450 pages of it, in a kind of manic explosion of grief and rage and poetry and creative energy. Alexie’s mother, a Coeur d’ Alene Indian, was among other things, a quilter, and this book reads a little like a pastiche or patch work quilt, alternating poems with prose reminiscences about his complicated relationship with his mother, though he also talks about his own life separate from her, and (much less) about the rest of his family. But his mother and (mostly) his relationship to her is the centerpiece of this searing self-examination. He refers to himself as "mother-stung." And like his mother, Alexie is possessed of a prodigious rage: Against white people for what they did to Native Americans, including his own family, but he is also almost equally enraged at Native Americans, and the various ways they turn on themselves. The alcoholism, teenaged pregnancy, various kinds of abuse, and so on."Scholars talk about the endless cycle of poverty and racism and classism and crime. But I don't see it as a cycle, as a circle. I see it as a locked room filled with the people who share my DNA. This room has recently been set afire and there's only one escape hatch, ten feet off the ground. And I know I have to build a ladder out of the bones of my fallen family in order to climb to safety."--AlexieAlexie isn’t always sure he loves or has loved his mother, with whom he didn’t speak for long stretches of time. In Alexie's version of history, she isn’t a great mother, but he also admits he was never a great son. As he also admits many times, he can be a narcissistic asshole. For example, the number of times he mentions how he as a successful author buys things for his family and pays for their bills! Good for you, Junior, you jerk! Why don't you visit once in awhile, dude? He claims privileged status as maligned Indian and as super-educated and successful Indian, and then admits he doesn’t know his own tribe's language, and has never fully observed the customs. He at turns calls attention to his talent and fame, then admits he is a mean-spirited asshole, then notes that self-deprecation is just another form of narcissism. This kind of manic self-awareness can seem wise, annoying, and tiring depending on his and your moods (450 pages, did I mention that?). Alexie alternates often gorgeous poems with anecdotes from the funeral or family life or rants about the state of the world past and present.There’s a range of emotion, if you haven't picked up on that point already: Anger: “So we must forgive all those who trespass against us? Fuck that shit. I’m not some charitable trust. There are people I will hate even after I’m ashes and dust.” Resignation: “This is who I am. This is who I have always been. I am in pain. I am always in pain. But I always find my way to the story. And I always find my way home.” In the year after his mother died, Alexie had brain surgery, and this continues to affect his thinking/feeling, so you wonder about that from time to time as you read. And he makes you increasingly aware that he probably won’t live a long life, so meditates on his own death (he’s only in his fifties) in places.“Did you know that you can be killed by a benign tumor?Imagine that news headline: Native American poet killed by oxymoron.”He was also before that surgery diagnosed bi-polar, and you can see it in his prose; there is no writer alive who can so exasperate and so enrich at the same time. He can make you laugh aloud and cringe in disgust and weep on the same page!Alexie, who also does stand-up (I have hear him give speeches several times, and he never speaks from notes; he moves quickly from jokes to rage about the political/historical scene), uses humor to deflect trauma:“If Heaven ain't filled with gender-swapping Indians, then I don't want to go there.”“Poverty was my spirit animal.”“I’m positive there are no Spokane Indian words for real estate appreciation.”When he was young he couldn’t afford a winter coat or boots. He wore “K-Mart tennis shoes that we called rez boots.” “We are the Gold Medalists in the Genocide Olympics.” (Though he then concedes it may be a Silver Medal, acknowledging the Holocaust).He also regularly bursts into poetry throughout, though much of the prose is also lyrical:“But a person can be genocided-can have every connection to his past severed- and live to be an old man whose rib cage is a haunted house built around his heart.”“The dead have only the voices we give them.”“I cried so often while writing this book. It became a ceremony, equal parts wounding and healing.”“Words exist in me like dinosaurs exist in birds.”Alexie also admits he makes stuff up, recalls things wrongly at times; he admits he is “the unreliable narrator of his own life.” And elsewhere: “I think you already know I am gonna conflate shit.” Alexie has visions, hears voices, sees ghosts at the same time he is a huge cynic about magic and spirituality, even Native spirituality. He had to cancel the remainder of his book tour for this book because he said he was being nightly visited by the ghost of his mother.“Thing is, I don’t believe in ghosts. But I see them all the time.”This is a story of poverty, racism, rape, alcoholism, and loss after loss, but told in the most entertaining way you can imagine (though yes, sometimes it is too long and annoying, as I said). Alexie is a clown shaman, part charming dreamboat poet, part liar, part whiner, part raging activist, which makes him very much like his mother. They had a hard time loving each other because they were so much alike: “I’m the child with all her vanity and rage.”Read it for the laughs, for the sometimes astonishing insights into grief and for the language and poetry. It’s for me often 6 or 7 stars, as he assumes the mantle of one of our greatest writers, but I have to say I am thinking of it now as somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars, as it is longer than it needs to be, and feels at times scattered and uneven. I liked The Long Ranger and Part-Time Indian as more concise and controlled stories using the same basic life material. But I am going to read it and I suspect my evaluation may go higher. I think everyone should read this book.

  • Chrissie
    2018-10-08 16:52

    This book is sure to give you an emotional ride, particularly if you listen to the audiobook read by the author. It is read with passion. Prose poetry is what is delivered. He knows better than anyone which word to emphasize, where to pause, where involuntarily laughter erupts and where tears come to his eyes. His voice quavers and his voice sings. He lays his heart and soul bare. What is given is a lyrical reading that exudes feeling - grief and longing and search for resolution. Poetry is a song; it is better heard than read. Some of the lines are in fact sung. I have given the narration a whopping five stars. You should not read this; you should listen to it. Sherman Alexie is a novelist, short story writer, filmmaker and now with this book a memoirist, but first and foremost a poet. I state this because of the intrinsic poetic tone of his writing. His career began with publication in 1992 of the poetry collection: The Business of Fancydancing (Hanging Loose Press). In the same year he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. It is important to understand that this memoir reads as prose poetry rather than separate pieces of poetry. There is a thread to be followed, a message to be relayed and the writing just happens to be poetic. I usually do not read poetry, but this is different. This is a memoir written with lyrical pose. Sherman Alexie is speaking of his relationship with his mother, of his own childhood experiences and most importantly of how it is to be Native American still today. He was born in 1966. Today he is fifty, married and living in Seattle, Washington. The author's writing draws on his own experiences as a Native American. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington State. He writes of poverty, racism, violence, alcoholism and rape, prevalent phenomena in the lives of Native Americans living on or off of reservations. Despair is lightened with humor. Swear words and crudity are a central part of the environment he comes from. Initially I was put off, but as I better came to understand that other life, that is not one I know, I felt compassion rather than disgust. I have learned from this book. It spoke both to my heart and to my head. It has given me insight into a world foreign to my own and for this reason I am very glad to have read it. This is a heart wrenching read. The author's relationship with his mother had been deeply conflicted. Then his mother died in 2015. Writing this book can be seen as a means of tackling his conflicting emotions. Love and hate. He certainly did have reasons to both love and hate her. He tells all, well almost all. One cannot judge until one understands what he has lived through and what his mother lived through. Alexie was born with hydrocephalus. More than once he has undergone brain surgery. Serious medical problems, poverty, ostracism, bullying, alcoholism and racism are the ingredients of his life. Rape, alcoholism, violence and extreme poverty are determining factors in his mother’s life. Mother and son are merely human. How do you resolve such a nest of worms? How do you straighten out your feelings? I appreciated immensely that the author does not simply blame others; he shoulders his own misdeeds, faults and errors. And he has had the courage to tell us. The writing is repetitious in two senses. One good and one bad. Recently I read a great essay by E.B. White. It is found in Essays of E.B. White. He speaks of the art of writing and lauds William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style. It is said there, among many other things, that one should keep the writing simple. Remove all words that can be removed. If you want to make appoint, repeat the words, not once or twice but several times. This is how Sherman Alexie writes. Has he read this manual? It seems so. This advice is extremely effective. That is the good repetition. However the author often returns to the same theme or event multiple times and honestly I found this just crazy. I kept thinking, “I’ve already heard that; you’ve already told me that before!” Better editing is warranted. By the end of the book I was getting annoyed by this; a third or at least a fourth of the book could have been edited out. So why should you read this book? To get an insight into the lifestyle of Native Americans at the end of the last century and still today. It is an eye-opener and it is movingly told. In addition you will reanalyze your own relationships with your parents and siblings.

  • Trish
    2018-10-10 18:38

    I'd never read Sherman Alexie's first great breakout book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I'm not sure why. I was interested; perhaps I was saving it. Instead I chose to read at this time his new memoir which could also be read as a eulogy for his mother. His upbringing sounds like it was a rough time all round. His parents were alcoholics. Sherman didn't come out unscathed, but he has been reaching out--he is fearless in revealing himself and his family. Perhaps he has found this makes him more likable, relatable.The end papers of this memoir are printed with a quilt pattern. Alexie tells us his mother quilted all the time, even through the night. He himself has at least ten quilts and he uses all of them. But when his mother died, he wanted to collect all the quilts she'd made and left behind and burn them all. I didn't get the impression he did so. For whatever reason.Lillian, that was her name. Lillian was one of the last speakers of his ancestor's native language. In a chapter entitled "Eulogy," Alexie repeats the phrase My mother was a dictionary over and over, every couple lines, but she never taught me the tribal language. The poem ends, She always said to me, 'English will be your best weapon.' She was right, she was right, she was right.Perhaps my favorite poem is one of his shortest, called "Communion" in which sentiment pairs with form:we worshipthe salmonbecause we eat salmonThe chapter entitled "Missionary Position" will stay with me a very long time. While in high school, Alexie tells us one of his friends said something deeply racist in his company, having momentarily forgotten he was Indian. He ended up dating her for a few years, and once gave her a pawnshop ring that was worth $20. When they broke up, she gave the ring back. He sold it back to the pawnshop for $10. In the beginning of the book, in a chapter called "Scatalogical," Alexie explains there is something called a grief poop. After everyone had left the funeral home, two days after the death of his mother, Alexie stayed behind to use the restroom. A sign hung on the wall behind the toilet: Please be gentle with our toilet. The pipes are old. Be judicious in your use of toilet paper. He tells us "I took the largest shit of my life. I expelled everything." He ended up breaking up the poop into pieces and had to hold the pieces in his hand so he could flush them in four tries. "Thing was as big as a walrus." I'd never known about grief poops, but it makes sense.Alexie's work has become indispensable for the well-read American. One cannot claim any credibility as a reader without having dipped a foot into his world and walked awhile in his boots. Reading Alexie is a kind of responsibility.

  • Ginger
    2018-10-04 16:40

    Listen. I don't know how or when My grieving will end, but I'm always Relearning how to be human again.This memoir was great!! After switching from audio to written print, I enjoyed it much more. I wasn’t a fan of the audio book because Sherman Alexie got a bit too dramatic for me at times. I just wasn’t a fan. But when I was reading his words, it worked!I enjoyed his brutal honesty with his mother’s death, his family and growing up on the reservation. I can’t imagine the pain and shame of growing up as a Native American and how society has almost destroyed this culture and ethnicity.I enjoyed his poems and humor throughout this book. It helped having that in the book since he talks about heavy topics of racism, poverty, alcoholism, rape, bullying, etc.And yet with all the substantial topics just mentioned, this memoir is still a deeply, personal story of a man dealing with a strained relationship with his mother, being bipolar and connecting with his family and culture again. He seems to be coming to terms with it all.Bravo Alexie on putting it all out there and giving a voice to more Native Americans in our country. Well done!

  • Canadian Reader
    2018-10-12 20:52

    ”There is no preparation for the loneliness of a world from which the two people who put you in it have gone. The death of parents removes the last cushion against contemplating your own mortality. The cycle of life and death becomes internal, bone-deep knowledge, a source now of despair, now of inspiration. The earth acquires a new quality of silence.” Roger Cohen in The New York TimesAs I was completing Sherman Alexie’s memoir which loosely focuses on his troubled relationship with his Spokane First-Nation mother, Lillian, I learned that he had just cancelled most of the book tour dedicated to promoting it. He was haunted by his mother’s ghost and found himself sobbing several times a day while he travelled. His grief over the loss of his fierce mother, he wrote in a letter posted on Facebook, was “complicated” (an actual term used by psychotherapists who work with the bereaved). He needed to mourn in private. Having been diagnosed as bipolar in 2010, he was now in the throes of a significant depressive episode. It did not surprise me that such afflictive emotions would arise with the completion of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. Remembering, writing about, and then publicly discussing intensely painful details of your past forces you, on some level, to relive them. A kind of re-traumatization can quite understandably occur. Alexie has said in interviews that he does not find writing therapeutic, though he acknowledges his work may be helpful to his audience. (He says that reading literature has certainly been therapeutic for him.) For Alexie, writing appears to be a kind of compulsion. His work, which is strongly autobiographical, occasionally irks family members. They have expressed anxiety or irritation about how events or they, themselves, are represented in his books.You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is ostensibly an exploration of Alexie’s relationship with his mother, but I think it is actually something other than that: a collection of short personal pieces on the genocide, literal and cultural, of Indian peoples. Alexie puzzles over the fact that a Holocaust museum (rightly, he says) exists in Washington, DC, but that there is no equivalent memorial to the mass crimes against the humanity of American Indian nations. He describes the substandard living and environmental conditions on his home reservation in Washington State. Two uranium mines were situated near the reserve, and when the mines closed years ago, only one was adequately cleaned up, leaving the indigenous people who live in the area at high risk for cancer. Rains have long run off the toxic mine tailings into rivers and creeks on the reserve. Families swam and fished in those rivers and poured the water from them over the hot stones in sweat lodges constructed from young trees that grew near the waterways.If mining wasn’t enough of an assault on a people’s land and way of life, the Grand Coulee Dam, constructed in the state of Washington between 1933 and 1942, certainly was. Traditional Spokane culture centred around salmon, but salmon fishing was entirely curtailed with the building of the dam. Colville and Spokane Indian tribes were forced off their lands to make way for it.Violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse were rampant on Alexie’s reserve as he grew up. (His book provides no indication that things are much different today.) He writes that he himself was sexually abused as a child, but gives no details about this. In an interview with James Yeh of the New York Times (June 12, 2017), Alexie remarks that he is always “going to tell the better version” about what happened. It’s hard to find “the better version” in You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me which seems to be an example of pretty brutal truth telling, but Alexie insists in The Times article that there are secrets—things he will not write about. His sexual abuse may be one of them. Alexie’s father, a kind and gentle depressive, was almost perpetually on a bender, rarely employed, and largely absent from his children’s lives. He died at 64 of kidney failure, the result of diabetes and a lifelong relationship with the bottle. Lillian, too, had problems with alcohol. She gave it up when Sherman was seven—an act, he says, which saved his life. A powerful and creative woman, a skilled quilter and one of the last fluent speakers of Salish, Lillian was also a fury who frightened people outside the family as much as those within it. She was a dry drunk, full of rage and pain, long after she’d renounced alcohol. Alexie believes that she, like him, was manic-depressive. Though her words and stories could seldom be trusted, he accepts her accounts of herself as both a product and victim of rape. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is not a perfect work. Parts of it are repetitive, and its organization feels slightly careless and random. It consists of poems and short prose pieces that appear to have been written at various times and then loosely stitched together. Some of the poems are more effective than others. A few were inaccessible to me: even after several readings, their metaphorical import was elusive. Occasionally, there is “too much information”, as they say, (i.e., information that most of us wouldn’t share in “polite” society), and the profanity is sometimes more gratuitous than effective. The truth of any matter can be as slippery in Alexie’s hands as it was in his notoriously fabulistic mother’s. His siblings remark that he lies as much as Lillian, that he massages facts to suit his own ends. Alexie can also come across as self-absorbed and self-admiring. He frequently mentions his popularity and intellectual abilities as a student at an all-white high school and more than once describes himself as a gifted writer. Most of us know it’s just not “good manners” to sing one’s own praises, yet I found myself quite willing to let these statements go. After all, there was really nothing to suggest the contrary, and lots to indicate there was good reason to sing.The subject matter of Alexie’s memoir is grim, and his mother, who is supposedly its main subject never emerges as more than a shadowy figure. However, the darkness of the content is regularly pierced with bright flashes of wit, hilarity, and irreverence. Alexie’s voice is utterly unique: confessional, intense, dramatic--variously vulnerable, ashamed, angry, and ironic. I really can't think of another voice quite like it. You can hear Alexie when you read his words. You can sometimes believe that you are there with him. Kafka said we should read books that wound us: “We need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me was exactly that kind of book for me: wrenching and intensely, utterly human.I would like to express my gratitude to the publisher (Little, Brown and Company) and Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this moving book.

  • Diana
    2018-10-06 17:48

    This is one of the best books I've ever read. In my life.Several books over the years have made me laugh out loud, but I laughed so hard and so loudly at one point early on in this book that it made the dog yowl.Several books over the years have made me cry, but not in quite the same way that I cried while reading this book. This book was so deeply personal. It made me feel more human, less alone: Sherman Alexie feels like the best friend I never had.I finally get it. I get why people love Sherman Alexie so much. Before this memoir, the only book I'd read by him was Flight, which is a good book, but it didn't touch me nearly as deeply as this one.Here is a poem (from the book) that I loved:PhysicsI want to reverse this earthAnd give birth to my motherBecause I do not believeThat she was ever adored.I want to mother the motherWho often did not mother me.I was mothered and adored By mothers not my own,And learned how to be adoringBy being adored. So if I adoremy mother after giving birthto this new version of her,Will she change historyAnd become oneWho openly and freely adoresHer daughters and sons?I don't know, I don't knowIf it's possible in any potential world.But build me a time machineAnd I'll give this shit a whirl.

  • jeremy
    2018-10-20 16:57

    ...thank you,mother, for being my mother.thank you for your imperfect loveit almost worked. it mostly worked.or partly worked. it was almost enough.heartbreaking and beautiful. candid and sincere. revelatory and sorrowful. cathartic and expressive. eloquent and coarse. brave and amusing. tender and taut.i allowed my wife—who'd seen me naked and touched me thousands of times—to finally touch me in those places where i had hoarded so much of my pain and shame.as anyone who has read the many works of sherman alexie knows well, the spokane/coeur d'alene indian novelist, short story writer, poet, filmmaker, and performer is gifted with the lingual arts. his new memoir, you don't have to say you love me, contends with the past; an often fraught relationship with his mother, his drunken father, his siblings, life on the reservation, tribal relations, bullying, insecurity, poverty, racism, guilt, shame, hurt, vulnerability, courage, abuse, neglect, tragedy, perseverance, grief, death, loss. forthright, funny, and unflinchingly bold, alexie's memoir reads as much as a purge and self-cleansing as it does an autobiography crafted for his readers.playing foil to his poignancy, alexie's ribald sense of humor often leaves the reader crying on one page and laughing hysterically the next. the full range of human emotions, many expressed most vehemently, are on ample display within. told in both poetry and prose, you don't have to say you love me is a remarkable reckoning with the past and its often indelible legacy, and the fortitude necessary to triumph beyond it, further proving the national book award-winning author's talents are legion – however borne of pain and suffering.ah, friend, this world—this one universe—is already too expansive for me.when i die, let my mourners knowthat i shrugged at the possibilityof other universes. hire a choir—let them tell the truthbut tell it choral—let the assembled voices singabout my theology:i'm the fragile and finite mortalwho wanted no part of immortality.

  • Pamela
    2018-10-14 15:47

    Reviewing an uncorrected Advance Reading Copy; the book will be on sale June 13, 2017.After his mother's death in 2015, Sherman Alexie worked through his complicated memories and emotions in the way he knows best: writing. This book is the result. In poetry and prose, he tells of growing up with a complicated, chaotic family with alcoholic parents, dangerous neighbors and relatives, cruel teachers and social workers. He is the "unreliable narrator of his own life."On nearly every other page, you will come across a sentence or two that will make you pause to think, feel, muse. Some examples:"I was only seven years old when I first realized that my mother was powerless ... against whiteness in all its forms.""Am I dancing on my mother's grave? Of course, I am! Now shut up and listen to the song.""Because the dead only have the voices we give them.""I don't want to use their names here. Naming them gives them more respect than they deserve.""I vomited because I realized that we Indian kids ... had been treated like prisoners of war, We were guilty of the crime of being Indian.""I don't know how or when My grieving will end, but I'm always Relearning how to be human again."

  • Courtney
    2018-10-10 15:02

    I absolutely adore Sherman Alexie, so that this gets 5 stars from me shouldn't be a surprise. As always, his writing and poetry are beautiful, and this book is just wonderful, start to finish. Such a fantastic and talented storyteller.

  • Taryn Pierson
    2018-10-02 17:42

    Since Sherman Alexie is a poet and plays with form, I am deviating from my usual reviewing style to better capture my thoughts on his latest book. Thus, a smattering of impressions upon finishing You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me:* I didn’t want to read this book. A memoir about someone’s mother dying? And not even a particularly good mother? No thanks. But for some reason, I listened to the audio sample. And then I bought it. And then I listened to Alexie tell his stories. And by about the halfway point, I knew I was going to miss his voice when it was over. I’ve listened to over 100 audio books, and that has never happened to me before.* I didn’t realize how exhausted I had become by the constant barrage of lies spewed by the current president and his enablers until I heard Alexie speaking the truth. Loudly and unapologetically. It made me think about gaslighting, and how doggedly those in power have told us we don’t know what we know. Racism isn’t racism. Violence isn’t violence. Hate isn’t hate. Words themselves are losing their meaning because they can be commandeered by the powerful and twisted into their opposites. Alexie is holding the line. He refuses to compromise on what these words mean. They mean what they have always meant.* Alexie, a Native American (or as he would say, Indian), has been treated by white people as if he were an immigrant to this country. A judge in a competition once docked points from his score because he had a “distracting foreign accent.” White people, we are the foreigners. We are the invaders. We are the ones who have taken what is not ours. And now, some of us ignore all that history and try to keep others out of “our country” because we fear they will take something from us that is rightfully ours. There is a moment when, as Alexie discusses this hypocrisy, he laughs. I mean, belly laughs. Hearing that laugh gave me feelings I still don’t know how to name.* There were other moments, as Alexie talks about the legacy of sexual violence in his family, when he cries. It made me wish he were a voice actor and the book were fictional. Then I could laud his performance and exclaim about how well he embodied the character. But no. He is a real person, suffering through the telling of his real memories. There will be no comforting distance.* Hearing poetry read aloud magnifies the experience for me. I don’t read poetry much because it always feels like work and I am lazy. But hearing Alexie read his own poems out loud, they made sense to me in a way I suspect they wouldn’t have if I read them off the page. If poetry isn’t your jam, don’t let that deter you, just make sure you go with the audio version.* Memoir is a funny craft. Alexie acknowledges his own faulty memory, exacerbated by brain surgery and his bent towards the creative and fantastical. There are moments in the book when Alexie tells two versions of the same story and holds them up, trying to determine which is the true one. I’m sure he got a lot of details technically or historically wrong. But memoir isn’t about writing down as factual an account of events as possible. Memoirists are all unreliable narrators. Maybe that’s why I love them so much.* I think this might be one of the best and truest books I have read in my entire life. Not just this year. Ever.More book recommendations by me at www.readingwithhippos.com

  • Ellie
    2018-10-16 20:39

    Powerful. Engaging. Beautiful. Sad.This is an account of the author's difficult relationship with a difficult but fascinating mother. It is also a story of what it means to him to be a Native American, what his experience growing up on a reservation was like and what it means to be successful in the white world. He talks about how he is treated both by members of that white world and by the Native Americans who often accuse him of being "white", or, at any rate, not a "true" Indian.Alexie uses much repetition, which I sometimes found enhanced the story and sometimes did not. I imagine him reading my review and saying "F@!* her!" because who am I really to rate his story and because that's the kind of persona I imagine him having. Both gentle and fierce. A survivor.His mother was beloved by others on the reservation. One of the last to speak the native language, she made beautiful quilts to support her impoverished family. But Alexie felt closer to his alcoholic father (his mother was an alcoholic who managed to stop drinking to keep her family, at least somewhat, safe). His father was gentle his mother, like Alexie, fierce. Also a storyteller (like Alexie) which meant her accounts of events were not always to be trusted.Alexie struggles with his ambivalent feelings toward his mother. He is grateful that she allowed him to leave the reservation to go a white school, in a white town. He wonders if that conservative town that welcomed him, where he did so well, was so popular and beloved is now voting against people like him. Alexie is always balancing the personal and the political.The story is moving and the telling of it mesmerizing. It illuminates some of the complexity of family relationships, especially those impacted by poverty and racism. And yet, for all its political overtones and subtext, it remains a profoundly personal story of a son grieving his mother and their relationship, still coming to terms with what it all was.

  • Kony
    2018-10-06 20:42

    This book is Alexie's earnest attempt to give expression to his mixed feelings about his late mother. Like the underlying feelings, these expressions are messy and tangled. The bits of narrative set forth across the 100+ "chapters" are fragmented, repetitive, and self-identified as unreliable. I almost gave up halfway through. Then I took a nap and, upon waking, reached for my Kindle and gave it another go. And then it got better - or maybe Alexie's voice just grew on me. The process of getting into the marrow of this book, for me, was ultimately rewarding although it tested my patience. For quite a stretch, it reads like a slapdash patchwork of half-true memories, speculations, and random thoughts loosely related to Alexie's relationship with his mother. The patterns and themes take a while to emerge, and when they do, they are lovely but don't even pretend to cohere with each other. At times, Alexie hints that this effect is intentional: a metaphor for the patchwork quilts his mother manically produced. I can't help wondering, though, if it's partly just avoidance - because it's mentally and emotionally too hard to do the editorial work required to hone this collection into a more coherent work. If so, I understand. That doesn't dissolve my impatience with it, but I still see the beauty in it and I understand.

  • Hannah
    2018-10-11 17:59

    I will leave this book unrated. While I was reading this, accusations against Sherman Alexie have started to emerge and I cannot at this point seperate the art from the artist. I will say this: on a technical level, this is well-written and emotionally moving, on a personal level, I don't know how to talk about this book.

  • Shirleen R
    2018-09-29 17:36

    I don't feel worthy to write a review. My contentious relationship w my mother who was gravely ill this year biases my analysis. Note: Sherman Alexie's memoir is the only text I've read by him. Embarrassed I must confess, I've known of Alexie for 20 years bit never picked up his books. Thus, his poetry surprised me because I didn't know besides his famous debut novel tha he wrote poetry and song lyrics. His screenwriting skills also a surprise. Smoke Signalswas my DVD queue for years. yet never realized Sherman Alexie wrote that film's script. I read for therapeutic personal reasons. To learn how one mourns a mother whom you love and argue and reduce to tears ( mine) within hours together. As Alexie's uncovers and retells and retells of his mother's painful history, as well as admires, praises, marvels at stremgth to earn income via quilting and her children fed and clothed, I found emotional kinship and understanding and even a way to grieve the bond I have and the one I will never have. Added Sept 5: More stray thoughts, which I need to edit and eliminate redundancy: His anger, disappointment, love, pride, contentiousness with both his parents and EXACTLY what I needed to read this week, now, esp. after I finished and felt 'meh' about Zinzi Clemmons' debut novel What We Lose last week. in short, Alexie's contradictorily cruel and generous mother reminds me of my own mother who almost died of adrenal cancer 3 months ago. We're just as emotionally distant; like Alexie, weeks pass when we don't speak at all (in alexie's case, it's months).Just as Alexie's mother is adored, my mother's coworkers and church friends sing her praises about her generosity, her mothering, nurturing. Meanwhile, the empathy chip is just missing in how she regards every 'child to parent' problem I bring to her..... i've heard she boasts about me to others, but can't bring herself to praise me directly. Sherman Alexie gets what I get. It's a relief to share this understanding.Sherman's Alexie's fictional and factual account and poems about his mother's death and funeral comes closest to resembling how my own mother's funeral might unfold. or how I may grieve or work though this loss. until this book and atul gawande's Being Mortal (which I read this summer as well), I didn't feel as if I could imagine the process, the event. I value most how Alexie writes about his own bodily responses -- he does not cry, and the schatological chapter is gross, but blunt and true.p.s. I Personally, Alexie's memoir is my most in-depth encounter with contemporary Indian reservation life, Native American history, law, culture, the Spokane Washington environment (the river, toxic dumping in mines near N.A. reservations), transitions from res to urban indian life, et...CAVEAT -- Alexie did NOT write and intend for his multi-genre memoir to double as a Native American anthropology textbook! I'm quick to decry this pidgeon-holing of creative works by PoC.Tl;DR. I'm glad I Alexie's auto-fictional mode is my first encounter with how Alexie writes about interpersonal relattionships: siblings, estranged cousins, and mecounts memories of nuns who tortured him, testimonies of sexually-abused indian boys in assimilative boarding schools. etc... Why I prefer in this case a one-degree remove barrier to mediate Alexie's accounts of actual rape, alcoholism, murder, violence, PTSD, terror, poverty, starvation is an entirely new topic.. Suffice it to say: it works for me.

  • Jillybb
    2018-10-10 17:04

    Whiny, petulant, repetitive, sexist, and beyond boring. This book is awful. I've written before that I am not a fan of authors reading their own work. This is painfully true about this book as Alexie whines and snivels and drones on and on about his mother, that hard-working woman who worked her fingers to the bone making quilts so that his arse could be fed. But dear old drunken dad who abandons the family for weeks at a time is a saint! Alexie acknowledges his mental health issues, which is why it was the responsibility of his editor to cut this crap into a short story. The best parts of this book you've met before in his 'Diary of a Part Time Indian'. He has nothing new to say. He's right to be afraid of running out of words -- he clearly has. He tells a pointless story about the loss of a pair of blue shoes and owns that his aim is to be "mythic". He fails. All this book shows is that as much as Alexie claims to hate the White Man, there are a whole bunch of them colluding to make him the Indian de jour, and will publish any crap he spouts in betrayal of his family. Never mind that far more deserving brown women never get the opportunities that have been flung at Alexie. I hope it's true that his mother's ghost is haunting his arse. He deserves a kick in the nuts from the netherworld for this long-winded piece of dreck.

  • Amanda
    2018-10-18 19:01

    A beautiful quilt of stories and poems and poemstories and storypoems. I've read nearly everything Alexie has written, and I'm drawn to any story or memoir about someone's mother, so I jumped on this one when it came to my library. Being from the same state as him, some of the places and even some of the people are familiar to me, which added another level to my experience as well. It reminded me a lot of another book I'm reading/listening to, Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, for the mother/son relationship and for the race dynamics of being seen "too white" by one group and "too colored" by another. It's not quite the same relationship, but they have similar echoes.

  • Heather
    2018-10-20 15:47

    3.5/5, rounded down. I feel like an asshole every time I have to rate a memoir. I suppose I don't HAVE to, but I am one for efficiency and I've rated every book I've finished... so... you get my point. Rating memoirs feels insulting. I feel like I am insulting the author if I don't give them 5 shining golden stars, for time and effort alone. In most cases, such as this one, I can't do that, because it wouldn't reflect my true feelings about it. There really isn't anything I overtly dislike about this book. The poetry - and there is quite a lot - was fine, I suppose. I'm not a fan of poetry and perhaps tend to miss the point majority of the time. So those parts were obviously not too fun for me, although some of them I really liked a lot. I also understood the metaphorical point of the consistently repetitive phrases, but that didn't stop me from getting a little peeved by it 3/4 of the way through. I'd simply had enough of that by then.I love the cover of the book. I think that alone says a lot about the content, and I was shocked to learn that the child on the cover is not Sherman. I like his writing style, love his sense of humor and sarcasm, and his first-hand experience and insight into a world I really don't know anything about. I think the title of this book is so appropriate and the contents of the stories in this book come full circle upon reflection of it. I was excited to read this because it was a GoodReads Choice Award selection for 2017 and has gotten rave reviews. Except from me. It really wasn't bad, but it also doesn't feel very memorable to me, and I can't see myself recommending it. I want to include one of the poems I really liked, because I think it embodies not only Sherman, but why he writes. Yes, I've survivedAll of the genocidal shit that killedSo many in my tribe,And it is absurdThat I've made a great careerOut of nouns and verbs,But, look,It's a miracle when any writerSells even one damn book.So listen to me: I was conceivedWith twenty thousand yearsOf my ancestors' stories Locked in my gray matterAnd flooding my marrow.So don't think I'm flatteredWith your homilyAbout how I must beSome kind of anamoly.I am my mother's son.I am my father's child.And they left me a trust fundOf words, words and wordsThat exist in meLike dinosaurs live in birds."

  • Caitlin
    2018-10-05 19:51

    I did not like this memoir. It had very few of the qualities that make a memoir insightful and worthwhile. The first word that comes to mind to describe this memoir is "navel-gazing": self-indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view. There are a lot of things I want to see in a well-written memoir. One of them is honesty and accuracy. I want the writing in a memoir to be vivid, and true. Artful honesty is one of the very best parts of a memoir--it's a key ingredient. While Alexie admits to creating his own "highly flawed version of the truth", he doesn't seem to see this as a downside or try to correct it. I also want the memoir to be about more than just the author. I believe more often than not, you need to be interested in more than just your own point of view, your own pain, in order to write a book that speaks meaningfully to others and makes a thoughtful point. Alexie barely accomplishes this at any point in his memoir, and doesn't seem to have the emotional capacity to write fairly about anyone he dislikes. An example of an author who does this type of writing very well is Tobias Wolff. He is an amazing listener, seems curious about his own inner-workings and the people around him. This translates really well into a memoir, because it expands the memoir beyond just "me me me". Of course, a large part of a memoir is going to focus on the author. When this happens, I want the author to opt for honesty in place of sensation. I want them to focus on self-searching, not self-promotion. I am not interested in stories and fantasies that exist for the sole purpose of self-glorification. An example where Alexie fails entirely to turn his critical-eye inward (and there are many of these examples) is chapter 27, "Clotheshorse", where a man tells him his shirt is wrinkled and Alexie goes on what can only be described as a petty and immature rant where he decimated the mans character and bragged about popular and great he, Sherman, is. This was the entire chapter, and had nothing to do with anything else that happened in the book. These kinds of outbursts were common. Which brings me to my next point. The author of a memoir should not be whiny. I don't want to just relive the misery that the author went through, and I find it very off-putting when the purpose of detailing a personal trial seems to be, in large part, to generate sympathy. I also don't think writing a memoir should = therapy. You are writing for an audience. Unless you're a genius, don't just spew forth a stream of consciousness and expect to create something worthwhile. This instead creates a story that doesn't make sense to me and doesn't convey any message. Again, I think that a good memoir will focus on the lessons you learned through the experiences you're detailing. I believe that it takes a lazy writer to think that expressing themselves, jotting their feelings down, is enough. It's not. It's sloppy and leads to a lot of cliches. I believe the "Fuck you cancer" poem is an example of this. I believe that the repetitiveness that is painfully obvious and in-artfully used in the memoir is an example of this. There are many, many examples of this.In general, Alexie's immaturity and lack of perspective and perceptive understanding of the world around him made for, in my opinion, a terrible read. There's hopefully no need to say that this is all very subjective though. I know plenty of people enjoyed this book, and maybe aren't looking for what I'm looking for when reading a book like this.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2018-09-23 19:41

    If you are a fan of Sherman Alexie, this is a book you need to read. It's a memoir of his life. It may surprise you to find out how much of his story in Part-time Indian is true. It may astonish you to discover that his story in Part-time Indian is not an atypical story for a person living on a reservation. It may motivate you to take action.

  • Emily Goenner
    2018-09-25 20:37

    This is the reason I read--beautiful, sad, honest, funny.

  • Daniel Chaikin
    2018-10-09 22:59

    Alexie is a powerful writer and performer. This memoir, a memorial to his mother who passed away in 2015, is bittersweet. He had a tense relationship with a difficult mother, made worse as their relationship developed in such a difficult environment. Alexie, a Native American, grew up on a Spokane Indian reservation, a depressing, poverty stricken environment marked by alcoholism, suicide and rampant tolerated crime. Sort of on accident, and sort of in honor of his mother, the book is a series of short entries, some personal essays, some very brief sketches, some poems, some single sentences, the whole making up what he describes as a something akin to quilt - his mother having made quilts his whole life to help pay the bills.If you haven't experienced Alexie before you should know that he is naturally captivating on many levels and I can't recommend his books highly enough. They will appeal to anyone. He reads wonderfully in his native accent making the audiobooks far more powerful then the the text.If you have read him before you will notice this book at first feels a lot like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, with the same kind of power even when he repeats from that book. Alexie is unique in that he can say the same thing over and over again, and it gains power, it becomes somehow deeper with each repetition. He kind of runs out of life stories about a third into the book, at least those that fit in his narrative. So, the book changes into something else, this quiltwork pattern of poetry and various short takes that cover various aspects of his life and thoughts. There is something of a religious feel to everything he writes, and every time he tells you how unreliable he is, and every time he repeats a story and contradicts a story he just told you and concludes something completely opposite to what he just said, even every time he curses. It's all very rhythmic and hypnotic. It's all very sincere too.I will say, as charming as he is, this is one author I would not want to meet in person. Listening to him describe what offends him, and how angry he can potentially become...well, it's hard to know how much of this he constructs for literary affect and how much is really brimming under the surface. But if I were every to meet him person and be forced to say something, I would be scared shitless.-----------------------------------------------47. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (Audio) by Sherman Alexiereader: the authorpublished: 2017format: Overdrive Audiobook, 12:10 (~338 pages, but 457 pages in hardcover)acquired: Librarylistened: Nov 2-14rating: 4