Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 •
Communications Manager


Lakewood will host the signature event of the Pierce County Reads 2016 program on April 29 when the community welcomes Sherman Alexie - outspoken poet, novelist and screenwriter explores modern-day Native American issues.

The event, titled “Meet Sherman Alexie,” is schedule for 7 p.m., April 29 at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center, Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW.

The free event headlines this year’s program, which unlike years past will focus on five books written by the Northwest native, giving participants an extra month read and discuss the selections. The five books are:

  • “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (1993)
  • “Reservation Blues” (1995)
  • “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” (2007)
  • “Flight” (2007)
  • “War Dances” (2009)

Alexie, who was born and raised in the Northwest, connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry and think through his semi-autobiographical writings, according the Pierce County Library System.

The New Yorker named Alexie one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century. He is “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar,” according to Men’s Journal.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, but it wasn’t until a college professor recognized his “intensity of language, passion and energy” that he fully committed to writing. Shortly after, his first books of poetry were published, and he began developing into a gifted orator, telling tales of contemporary American Indian life with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor and biting wit.

His novels, such as Reservation BluesIndian Killer and The Toughest Indian in the World, have won numerous awards and accolades, including Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Award, the PEN/Malamud Award and Publishers Weekly’s Book of the Year. His anthology of new stories and beloved classics, Blasphemy, was included on the best-book lists of Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, and NPR. The National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by Time magazine.

In 1998, Alexie wrote and produced the film Smoke Signals, an adaptation of his book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The movie went on to win the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. He made his directorial debut with 2002’s The Business of Fancydancing.

Alexie received Washington State University’s highest alumni award, recognizing the importance of his Native American voice to a broad audience, the Katherine Anne Porter Award in Literature and the Pushcart Prize. He was awarded a 2014 Literature Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.


About Pierce County Reads:

This is Pierce County Library System’s 9th annual program that encourages everyone in the county to read the same book at the same time and then come together to talk about it.

Pierce County READS titles are best-selling works by a living author that appeal to wide audiences, present relevant themes and provoke meaningful discussion. Many have sat atop the New York Times best-seller list for weeks and have taken home the industry’s top awards.

Pierce County Library and The News Tribune  teamed up in 2008 to create the county’s largest adult reading event. Since then, Pierce County READS books have been checked out more than 44,000 times. In total, nearly 8,000 people have turned out to hear the chosen author while nearly 12,000 people attended other reading events.

To learn more, visit the Pierce County Reads website .