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A white lie

AnotherSadLie.jpgDid a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature’s most celebrated memoirists — by passing himself off as Native American?

That's the question posed by Matthew Fleischer of the LA Weekly in regard to the essay "The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams," which was published in Esquire in 1999 and later expanded into a memoir of the same name. It was critically praised. It garnered a small collection of literary awards and trinkets. And now appears to be shriveling under the same spotlight that bore down so heavily on James Frey.

So Frey exaggerated--ok, big deal. People do that. They augment the truth. Women get boob jobs. William Shatner has that rug on his head. I can accept that. But to co-opt someone else's culture? That's really sad. And it's such an ironic contrast to a wonderful multicultural author like Sherman Alexie, who writes fiction that is obviously autobiographical. (If you haven't read "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," you're missing out).


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Reader Comments (5)

I love Sherman Alexie!

Thanks for visiting my blog; I'm off to explore more of yours. :)
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Hey, fellow Northwesterner! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog, you were my first visitor. Great site you have here, by the way.

I haven't read any Sherman Alexie yet, but I might see if I can track some down - sounds like a good read.

February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Knudson
Hi, Tony here. In regards to your question "Just curious, where was that cool cairn photo taken?"

My friend Chris took that photo probably 9 years ago (i'm the one in the photo) at camelback mountain in the Poconos (PA). The specific area is in the gamelands, not quite the top o' the mountain, but right before it. Unfortunatley, the rock tower has since been knocked down.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteronipar
Julie--Wow! Visitor #1 to your blog. (I'm resisting the urge to make some virginity joke). I think I at least deserve a t-shirt or something. Maybe you can save that idea for your 1000th visitor.

Sheman Alexie might not offer the blood and gore you're probably used to reading, but the writing style has a bittersweet, lyrical quality which I like. It's fiction but has a real honest vibe to it.

Tony--Thanks. Very cool cairn. I'm surprised it's not here in the Rockies somewhere.
February 17, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
I dunno. If something say memoir, I expect it to be the truth. Frey should have written a novel instead of a memoir. As for the phoney Native American, he's just as guilty as Frey.

February 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershesawriter

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