Sherman Alexie

Renowned Native American writer is coming to Billings in October to conduct a reading at Rocky Mountain College.

Renowned author Sherman Alexie is coming to Billings in October to give the 2014 Common Read Lecture at Rocky Mountain College.

The author of 24 books, Alexie will speak on Oct. 23, after the RMC campus community has read and discussed his 2007 novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” In November 2013, a Billings parent requested that School District 2 remove “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” because she said it was offensive to her and her child.

The Billings School Board voted to keep the Alexie novel on the required reading list.

Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer who has won many awards. In 2013, he published the 20th anniversary edition of his “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” And “Smoke Signals,” the film he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Wash., on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Joe Fassler in the Atlantic has cited the “balance of plaintive lyricism and pained, wry humor” in Alexie’s “indispensable and versatile American voice.”

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.