Sherman Alexie is one of my favorite writers
I was really excited when I found out the SF stop of his book tour for War Dances, his new collection of poems and short stories, coincided with my trip.
Unfortunately, my flight from LAX to SFO was delayed 3 hours due to weather. I didn't get to the hotel to check in until 6:15 and the reading was at 7 in the Mission a couple of miles away.
Alan and I tried to hail a cab, but had no luck. Instead, we ran over to the Powell Station and took BART to Mission & 16th. Five minutes later, we were running out of the station to the Women's Building 4 blocks away. We arrived with 6 minutes to spare. The auditorium was rather crowded, but we found seats in the back. The event was a sell-out with standing room only.
Alexie spoke about his mother's reactions to reading his young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama's [lack of] basketball skills, the artwork on the Women's Building, the loss of anticipation for new music/books, Seattle's whiteness, and all the things American Indians get away with (e.g., prayer in public spaces). He also read a few stories/poems from the new book.
He was hilarious and touching, especially when he talked about how fortunate he feels to be paid to tell stories. He spoke about the "weepers and runners," fans who bare their souls to him when they meet him.