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Sherman Alexie: Cupcake Poetics

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Sherman Alexie stopped in at Third Place Books to promote his latest book: Blasphemy.  There was laughter, awkward chuckling, some groaning, more laughter, and terrific applause.  Most famous for his screenplay Smoke Signals, Sherman’s writing often reflects his experiences of growing up on an Indian reservation.  I came a little early to this event to enjoy the “show”, and stayed to get my book autographed.  I have yet to ever have a bad celebrity encounter, and I’m sure that day will eventually come, but that day was not today.

A little birdie told me Sherman Alexie was partial to zombies, so I figured a Zombie Berry Cupcake was the best choice.  Last year I gave Henry Rollins a zombie faced Orange Chocolate Cupcake, and personally, I find it unacceptable to give the same cupcake to 2 different celebrities.  The zombie aspect of this cupcake isn’t always obvious upon first look, so I take it upon myself to enhance it with a little doodling for VIP orders.

Zombie Berry has evolved since first inception, but the final combination of raspberry buttercream and vanilla custard is here to stay, but enough about cupcakes.

I’ve only met a couple people who have lived on Indian reservations, but they both seem to share the same perspective as Sherman Alexie.  The communities are small, not a lot of opportunities for educational advancement or high paying jobs, and alcoholism is a rampant issue resulting in an environment that pushes people down and away, away from their culture, history, and in many ways, an amazing unique way of life.  Sherman talks about these issues and the internal struggle with a youthful voice that the generation of today can relate to, plus a wonderful sense of humor.  Indigenous cultures are disappearing all over the world and with them goes an integral part of human history and a unique perspective we can never regain.  Bringing attention to this issue in such a relatable fashion, helping Native youth to better their social and economical condition, and just being an all around wonderful role model to people of all races (including the white people he often pokes fun at) is why I believe Sherman Alexie deserves a cupcake.

He’s very funny in person.  Beyond reading his work, he had several off-topic personal anecdotes that had the audience roaring with laughter.  He even seemed to have a bit of fun with the cupcake.  I’m definitely more of a fan of the short story versus the novel because of the busyness of my schedule, and I’m really looking forward to reading Blasphemy.

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