Sherman Alexie wraps himself in a richly intertextual quilt of visions for his first foray into major league publishing, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Like many Native American authors, Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur DAlene writer who won an impressive following with his little-press premiere (The Business of Fancydancing, Hanging Loose Press), enjoys and celebrates the interplay between mythology and history, between “dreams” and “stories” and “visions” and “reality.” Unlike many Native American authors, Alexie is as apt to evoke British rocker John Lennon or African American novelist Toni Morrison in his visions as he is to pay homage to other Native American artists such as Leslie Silko or Gerald Vizenor.
The visions Alexie sews together in this new collection of short stories possess power–the power to “pick up the pieces of a story from the street and change the world for a few moments,” or forever. They have “the power to teach, to show how this life should be lived.” But they may lack the power it will take to save the storytellers from yesterdays exploitation, todays recession or tomorrows bottle.
The stories follow, in a loosely connected fashion, the adventures of Victor, a former reservation-wide basketball hero
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