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FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2016, file photo, author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie gives the keynote address at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day at Seattle's City Hall. - AP-Photo

Readers reevaluate author amid sex misconduct allegations 

By Felicia Fonseca

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -Readers of Sherman Alexie’s books are re-evaluating what place he has on their bookshelves after the prominent author became the subject of anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Alexie acknowledged this week that he has harmed others but denies physically or verbally threatening anyone or the careers of fellow Native American writers.

Alexie has been a hero of indigenous literature and the focus of simmering misgivings that he’s whitewashed Native American life.  Alexie, 51, is likely the most famous Native American author of his time, a hero to some and the focus of simmering misgivings that he’s the white man’s idea of an Indian writer. A brash public figure who has spoken openly about his personal struggles and navigating life on and off Washington’s Spokane Indian Reservation, he’s best known for his semi-biographical novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian.”

He often draws from childhood experiences, writes openly about navigating life on and off a reservation, and speaks bluntly on social issues.

Tristan Chasing Hawk used the novel and other Alexie writings in speech and debate competitions, and to form his own identity as a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. He was attracted to Alexie’s universal way of writing and because he communicates in a Native mindset to people outside tribal cultures.

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