Excerpt from Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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New and Selected Stories

by Sherman Alexie

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 480 pages
    Oct 2013, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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Print Excerpt

Cry Cry Cry

Forget crack, my cousin said, meth is the new war dancer.

World champion, he said.

Grand Entry, he said.

Five bucks, he said, give me five bucks and I'll give you enough meth to put you on a Vision Quest.

For a half-assed Indian, he sure talked full-on spiritual. He was a born-again Indian. At the age of twenty-five, he war danced for the first time. Around the same day he started dealing drugs.

I'm traditional, he said.

Rule is: whenever an Indian says he's traditional, you know that Indian is full of shit.

But, not long after my cousin started dancing, the powwow committee chose him as Head Man Dancer. Meaning: he was charming and popular. Powwow is like high school, except with more feathers and beads.

He took drugs, too, so he was doomed. But what Indian isn't doomed? Anyway, the speed made him dance for hours. Little fucker did somersaults. I've seen maybe three somersaulting war dancers in my own life.

You war dance that good, you become a rock star. You get groupies. The Indian women will line up to braid your hair.

No, I don't wear rubbers, he said, I want to be God and repopulate the world in my image. I wondered, since every Indian boy either looks like a girl or like a chicken with a big belly and skinny legs, how he could tell which kids were his.

The above is excerpted from "Cry Cry Cry", the first story in the anthology. According to the copyright page it was published in a slightly different form in The Speed Chronicles, edited by Joseph Matson and published by Akashic Books.

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Excerpted from Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie. Copyright © 2012 by Sherman Alexie. Excerpted by permission of Grove Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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