A Spokane Indian author, whose writings deal with life on the 20th and 21st century 'res (reservation) from the point of view of youth — disenfranchised, often rebelling, always questioning. Born with hydrocephalus, his writing has shown quite a bit of anger, though he deliberately avoids it post-9/11. His most notable works include the award-winning YA book,The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,
which contains strong autobiographical themes, and Smoke Signals,
a 1998 film that starred Adam Beach and Evan Adams.
Tropes in Alexie's work include:
- Apocalypse How: In at least one short story, the white people are all dead, the mixed bloods are all dying from a mysterious illness, and the Indians form a eugenic dystopia.
- Author Appeal: Of the nonsexual (One of Us) variety.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted in "The Toughest Indian in the World". It still hurts like a mother.
- The Cassandra: Invoked in Flight.
- Defictionalization: Want Victor to serenade you? You can!
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Thomas is Don Quixote. Victor isn't quite as tolerant as Sancho Panza.
- Freud Was Right: A lot of father-son dynamic.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: In "The Toughest Indian in the World", the narrator tells the eponymous character that he's not...Cue explicit gay sex scene.
- Ho Yay: Lampshaded, zigzagging, it's entirely possible Everyone Is Bi in the Lone Ranger and Tonto-verse
- Loin Cloth: Can symbolize tradition or the fetishization of natives by Westerners.
- Mushroom Samba: "A Drug Called Tradition"
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: "The Sin Eaters"
- One of Us: Alexie is definitely a geek for classic films. He also seems to be familiar with the Anzati, judging by The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
- Parody Sue: Many. Most notable is Thomas Builds-the-Fire, a goth kid who is never called goth and always tells annoying stories.
- Racist Grandma: Averted: As a rule, old people, especially old women, are more accepting than the young people.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Flight has time travel done Quantum Leap-style.
- Villain Protagonist: John in Indian Killer.