Sherman Alexie last week won the prestigious 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his most recent collection of stories, “War Dances.”
This is Alexie’s second top fiction prize. He won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007.
Alexie, a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, spent his formative years in Wellpinit, Wash., Spokane and the vicinity. He clearly draws on his past for inspiration.
In fact, one of his strongest stories is told from the point of view of a young intern for The Spokesman-Review. Alexie, who did indeed work as an intern for this paper, now lives in Seattle.
Al Young, one of the judges, said that Alexie’s book “taps every vein and nerve, every tissue, every issue that quickens the current blood-pulse.”
“War Dances” was chosen from a field of 350 novels and short story collections.
Also on the awards front, “Feeding Strays,” by Stefanie Freele, is one of the finalists for ForeWord’s 2009 Book of the Year Award.
This short story collection was published by Sandpoint’s Lost Horse Press.
The contest honors books from independent publishers. Winners will be announced in May.
‘What Can We Learn …?’
Gonzaga University will continue its enlightening series on the great ideas of the great thinkers with “What Can We Learn From Confucius and Lao Tzu?” on Wednesday, 7 p.m. in Wolff Auditorium at the college’s Jepson Center.
The speakers will be Quanhua Liu, a GU philosophy professor, and Eric Cunningham, a history professor.
The event is free and open to the public.
Tom Davis reading
Well-regarded local poet Tom I. Davis will read from his two poetry collections, “Peaceful Valley as Told to Gregory King” and “Fish Out of Water,” today at 12:30 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.
Davis has been teaching and writing poetry in Spokane for more than 20 years.