The Literary Analysis Of Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-time Indian

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About the author

Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966) is a Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-American novelist, short story writer, poet, and filmmaker. His writings draw on his experiences as an Indigenous American with ancestry from several tribes. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and now lives in Seattle, Washington.

His best-known book is The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), a collection of short stories. It was adapted as the film Smoke Signals (1998), for which he also wrote the screenplay.

His first novel Reservation Blues received one of the fifteen 1996 American Book Awards. His first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), is a semi-autobiographical novel that won the 2007 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Odyssey Award as best 2008 audiobook for young people (read by Alexie). His 2009 collection of short stories and poems, War Dances, won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.


The first sentence in the book, we get to know that Arnold or Junior as many people call him, was born with water on his brain. This has a big impact on his life. Junior lives in the rez and his best friend are called Rowdy. Rowdy protects Junior from all the bullies, but after Junior threw a book at the teacher out of frustration, he was forced to move or change school.

Junior changed school to the ‘’white’’ rival school in Reardan. This school was over 22 miles away, and the fact that Junior’s family was poor made it difficult to drive him all the way, sometimes he had to walk the whole way because his dad was either drunk or they did not have any gas money.

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Finding friends at the new school was hard because he was the only Indian kid in an all-white school. After he punched Roger the giant in the face, he gained some respect. He managed to find a new friend called Gordy and even a girlfriend called Penelope.

After Junior moved to the ‘'rival’’ school that beat Wellpit in all sports, he became this traitor that turned his back to his tribe, and his best friend Rowdy. Rowdy did not take this easy and punched Junior in the face. They became sort of ‘’enemies’’.

Weeks went by and tragedies after tragedies happened. His sister grandmother died, dad’s best friend died over a bottle of booze and his sister died in a fire because they were too drunk to wake up. That was how many Indians died. Because of booze.

After a while, Junior decided to join Reardan basketball team. To join Reardan he had to play a 1 on 1 on the full court. Junior was much smaller than the other players, especially Roger, the player he had to 1 on 1. When Junior was on defence Roger just dribbled past him and dunked the ball, but Junior did not give up and when Junior attacked, he scored a 3-point swish because he was an excellent shooter. After this Junior had made it through the ‘’elimination’’ phase.

Their first match of the season was against Wellpit, Junior’s old team. Junior was very nervous before the game and this is when he found out he was a yucker (someone who throws up before a game). When his team arrived at Wellpit-stadium the crowd was wild. Everyone was booing at Junior and turning their back to him. The game started, and someone threw a coin and hit him right in his forehead, this resulted in 3 stitches. After Junior was stitched up in the break, second half began and almost right away Rowdy elbowed Junior in the face. This resulted in a concussion and Junior was rushed to the hospital and Wellpit crushed Reardan this match. He was told by the doctors to stay awake the whole time, so coach came to visit him. They talked about anything and everything throughout the night.

The Wellpit basketball-team was on fire and won every single match after this, and so did Reardan. The second time Reardan faced Wellpit was in Reardan, so none of the fans was crazy. In the preparation phase Junior was told to hold Rowdy the whole game. Junior agreed to this and right as the game started, Rowdy rushed with the ball towards the basket. Junior sprinted after him. Junior knew that Rowdy was going to dunk, so he jumped before Rowdy could dunk. Junior denied the dunk, and the crowd went wild. Junior was so pumped with adrenalin, so he rushed towards the other basket while Rowdy was right behind him. Junior stopped and did a fake shot and Rowdy went flying. Junior hit a beautiful 3-pointer and the game was already over before it could even start. This led to Wellpit’s downfall. They lost every game after this.

Rowdy and Junior soon became friends in their own different way. Rowdy soon visited Junior because he was bored, and they went to play some 1 on 1’s and they did this for many hours.

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