>I went to the Eiteljorg website this afternoon to confirm that Sherman Alexie really is coming to town. It saddens me to know that he’s not getting the mention he deserves in the 2004 Spirit and Place promo materials. The Eiteljorg will show two of his films (all of his films?) prior to his arrival:


2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie

Critically acclaimed as one of the best films of the year, Smoke Signals was also a distinguished winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Though Victory and Thomas have lived their entire lives in the same tiny town, they couldn’t be less in common! But when Victor is urgently called away, it’s Thomas who comes up with the money to pay for his trip. There’s just one thing Victor has to do: take Thomas along for the ride!

This special video presentation of Sherman Alexie’s award-winning film will be followed by a discussion lead by Dr. Wesley K. Thomas (Dine), Assistant Professor of Anthropology at IU Bloomington.

– I’ve watched this movie over and over and still find a simple sort of peace in the characters’ language. I wonder what the discussion will be like.


2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Business of Fancydancing by Sherman Alexie

This special video presentation introduces audiences to former best friends Seymour and Aristotle who left the Spokane Reservation to go to college in Seattle. Seymour embraced the opportunities of the white world while Aristotle returned home embittered by his experiences. The video finds them 16 years later reunited at the funeral of another good friend. The reunion exposes tensions and simmering resentments.

The video presentation will be followed by an audience discussion with Dr. Wesley K. Thomas, assistant professor of anthropology at IU Bloomington.

– If this movie ran anywhere around here, I managed to miss it. It should be excellent. I think I like Alexie’s style mainly because he writes from a more modern perspective, unlike the museum-quality Native American stuff I’ve read before.

That and he’s damn funny.


10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Lecture & Booksigning with Sherman Alexie at I.U.P.U.I.

As part of the celebration for Path Breakers: Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, Ten Little Indians author Sherman Alexie presents The Business of Fancydancing: Poems, Stories, Punch Lines and Highly Biased Anecdotes. This wide-ranging presentation explores Alexie’s observations as a contemporary, urban Native American while also exploring the goal of the Eiteljorg Fellowship: to place Native American contemporary arts within the context of American art and to draw attention to its value in today’s culture.

Booksigning to follow at the Eiteljorg Museum’s store White River Trader. Order or purchase at the booksigning the newly released “Ten little Indians,” “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” or selected other titles from this noted author.

– Yippee! I haven’t been this excited about an author’s lecture since Ken Kesey back in college. Not exactly the same. Okay, nowhere near the same. 😉


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