You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

A Memoir

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, and tender memories of a childhood few can imagine - growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. This is a powerful account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780316270755
031627075X
Characteristics: 457 pages ;,25 cm.

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gingerbeer
Sep 13, 2017

Sherman Alexie has written an unusual memoir filled with grief, humour, bitterness and hope; a sad but also hopeful look at the legacy of a mother's love and the painful process of grieving an imperfect parent.

PimaLib_NormS Sep 13, 2017

I had heard of Sherman Alexie. I knew he was a Native American writer, but I was unfamiliar with his work. Then I heard an interview with him on NPR. He was there to promote his latest book, a memoir, entitled “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”. I thought I would give it a try. Good move on my part. This passionate book is a gripping piece of literature. It was not done in the standard way, by that I mean his story was not told chronologically, as in, this happened which led to that, then this. No, Sherman Alexie was not going to produce just another run of the mill biography. In fact, I don’t know if I should even call his book a biography. It contains mostly short essays and poetry, and it should be read as such. Admittedly at first, I found the poetry a little disruptive. Reading the book did not flow for me. But, I began to realize that I was reading it all wrong. I was trying to read it as one would read prose, one word, one paragraph, one page, flowing into another. I found that enjoying each essay and each poem as a single entity worked much better for me. The overarching focus of Alexie’s essays and poetry is his emotional, complex, sometimes tortured relationship with his mother. After reading the book, it is clear that Lillian Alexie greatly influenced her talented son while she was alive, and she continues to do so after her death.

l
laphampeak
Sep 08, 2017

A memoir, not just about family and grief, but one of acceptance, release of bitterness, and finally being comfortable in our own skin - no matter the color, no matter the family background, or any other limiting condition.

lindab2662 Sep 08, 2017

What a beautiful, funny, sad, powerful book. I heard Sherman Alexie in an interview on NPR. I was hooked. There is so much here. Racism, family dynamics, life on a reservation, extreme health issues, and so much more. What a rich story.

b
brangwinn
Aug 06, 2017

What a heartbreaking memoir about a flawed mother who nevertheless helped shape Alexie into one of the most honest fiction writers of today.

k
katiedog13
Jul 01, 2017

The author is a poet, so there is poetry interspersed throughout the book. The book's main focus is relationship with his mother and his grief after she died.

i
IanS_Librarian
Jun 05, 2017

I have always been a fan of Sherman Alexie but I didn't know his whole story. This book is an amazing window into the adversity our indigenous citizens have to face and is widely unknown or ignored by many of us. It is also a great introduction to the relationships unique to Native American communities and the day to day struggle and poverty that Native Americans face in reservation life. I have always been amazed with Alexie's body of work and had the honor of attending one of his author talks, I am even more amazed by him knowing more of his personal story.

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