The title tells it like it is. Sherman Alexie was born a Spokane Indian. He grew up where the book is set, on a reservation – the “rez” – in Wellpinit, Washington state. He was, like his central character, hydrocephalic at birth, “with too much grease inside my skull”. And in his teens he attended Reardan High School, off the reservation, near the rich farm town, where all the other students were white. Many authors hum and ha when asked if their fiction is in any way autobiographical. This one makes no bones about it and yet skilfully manages to transform his actual experience into a novel. True fiction. Absolutely.
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