You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Summary and Reviews

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

A Memoir

by Sherman Alexie

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie X
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
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Book Summary

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It's these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.

When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

One of the most anticipated books of 2017 - Entertainment Weekly and Bustle

"[A] poignant, conflicted, raucous memoir of a Native American family...a fine homage to the vexed process of growing up that vividly conveys how family roots continue to bind even after they seem to have been severed." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Courageous, anguished, grateful, and hilarious, this is an enlightening and resounding eulogy and self-portrait...all will be reaching for this confiding and concussive memoir." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Honest, wrenching, and incredibly moving....Highly recommended for all readers. Alexie's portrayals of family relationships, identity, and grief have the universality of great literature." - Library Journal

"Despite some repetition, this is a powerful, brutally honest memoir about a mother and the son who loved her." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about You Don't Have to Say You Love Me shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Linda

Courageous
I believe this is one of the most courageous memoirs I've ever read. Sherman Alexie bares his soul with honesty and bravery. Growing up in the Native American world and the White world, he had to deal with so much conflict, pain, and hurt. But there was love, and he tells us how this love saved him. His poetry is deep and personal. He let's us begin to feel the deep loss of a people when their way of live and meaningful language is stolen from them. Read this book!

Julie C. Thompson

Disappointed and disgusted
Had a hard time getting through it.
Too much repetition.
It was made worse when I googled author’s name and read about sexual harassment allegations made against him. It turned my stomach. I will never read another book by him again.

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Author Information

Sherman Alexie Author Biography

Photo © Rob Casey

Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane. Approximately 1,100 Spokane Tribal members live there. Alexie's father is a Coeur d'Alene Indian, and his mother is a Spokane Indian.

Born hydrocephalic, with water on the brain, Alexie underwent a brain operation at the age of 6 months and was not expected to survive. When he did beat the odds, doctors predicted he would live with severe mental retardation. Though he showed no signs of this, he suffered severe side effects, such as seizures and uncontrollable bed-wetting, throughout his childhood. In spite of all this, Alexie learned to read by age three, and devoured novels, such as John Steinbeck'...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Sherman Alexie's Website

Name Pronunciation
Sherman Alexie: sher-mn a-lexie

Other books by Sherman Alexie at BookBrowse
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian jacket
  • Blasphemy jacket
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