Born: October 7, 1966
Birthplace: Spokane Indian Reservation, Wellpinit, Washington
Sherman Alexie's inventive, realistic, and often humorous writing evokes contemporary American Indian life. The son of a Spokane Indian mother and a Coeur d'Alene Indian father, Alexie first found his voice as a poet. His debut The Business of Fancydancing (1991) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), a book of short stories, became the basis for the movie Smoke Signals (1998), which Alexie wrote and co-produced. Alexie's crowd- and critic-pleasing works include the novel Reservation Blues (1995), the mystery Indian Killer (1996), and the short-story collections The Toughest Indian in the World (2000) and Ten Little Indians (2003). His latest is the poetry collection Dangerous Astronomy, published in 2005.