AP – Language and Alexie

Take the first fifteen minutes to read the Introduction and Every Little Hurricane.

Then look through Alexie’s website.

Consider these questions:

1. Epigrams from Lou Reed and Joy Harjo prepare the reader’s way into the collection. What ideas do they set in motion that the stories build? What do they reflect about Sherman Alexie’s sensibility?

2. Throughout the opening story, “Every Little Hurricane,” literal and figurative references to weather weave together: there is, in fact, a storm and in the lives of the characters there is volatility, too. Tension builds between the characters and erupts violently as the storm moves through. What is created through this interworking of the literal and figurative? Through the close connecting of the natural and the human worlds?

3. In “Every Little Hurricane,” as two brothers fight and nearly murder each other, characters watch rather than act to avert a tragedy. Why don’t they intervene? Is it merely a matter of passivity? What is meant by the line “This little kind of hurricane was generic”?

4. What do you see so far that justifies the NYT comment that Alexie “is one of the major lyric voices of our time.”

Here is the Prologue I was talking about.

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