The next book on my list to talk about is Sherman Alexie's The Toughest Indian in the World, a collection of short stories.
I really liked this collection. All the stories deal with Native Americans trying to find their place in a country where, well, historically they've been driven out and watered down. Some stories I found more resonant than others.
My favorite story of them all is the last one, One Good Man, about a grown son and a father who is sick from complications of diabetes. His father mentions he's never been to Mexico, and so they go on a roadtrip, until, just shy of the border, his father gets too sick to travel anymore, and the son carries him over. It's really quite touching.
I hadn't read anything by Alexie prior to this, but I think he is definitely filling a niche here, and being a foremost voice for American-Native Americans (I know that's not a proper term, but you know what I mean), and bringing these experiences to the American public. I'm reading Blood Meridian right now, so these thoughts of what this country has done to Native Americans are at the forefront of my mind right now. This book definitely makes me reflect on what the experience for contemporary Native Americans must be like, and the unique struggles they encompass. I also just appreciate the humor and wit, yet poignancy that Alexie folds into all these stories.
The book is an easy read, and worth it.