Thursday, June 26, 2008

So, Wachya readin'?

I haven't felt much like talking lately, or writing, but I have been reading. I ALWAYS read. That's why I was an English major. Anyway, I finished Skins, by Adrian C. Louis and Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie last week. Skins is the story of two brothers who grow up on Pine Ridge reservation, play football rogether, go to Viet Nam at the same time and choose very different paths. It is a moving story about love and addiction. It was made into an excellent movie starring Graham Greene and Eric Schweig and I can't recall ever having seen a closer movie rendition of a book. Except for the sex. Left that right out. Oh well.
Indian Killer is a very different murder mystery and it is a real page turner too. Set in Seattle, it is very urban and violent. Plenty to satisfy fans of the genre. But Sherman Alexie is a poet too, so the writing itself is mysterious, beautiful in a stark and disturbing way.
In addition to being great reads, each of these books deal with real-life issues of modern American Indians in an engaging, entertaining fashion. Both are written by Indians, both have lots of dry, sarcastic humor, and both books are absolutely seething with anger. The anger American Indians(and African Americans) live with is something very few white people are even aware of, much less understand. But we really need to learn about it and it is much better to listen to a story than a sermon,ennit?.
I would suggest that, at some time, you also read Killing Rage by Bell Hooks. Hooks is African American and she will provide insights into the anger people of color in the US feel that will astonish the average white person.
If you are looking for some damn good reading, you would do well to check out one or both of thse titles.
And check out the movie, Skins, too.

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