Sherman Alexie in Santa Fe.

Sherman Alexie spoke last night about his new book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, which was just nominated for the National Book Award. During his talk, he made some observations about Santa Fe, including comparisons with his current hometown, Seattle. He never said "Native Americans" and he never said "American Indians." He only used the word "Indians."

*Alexie advised all Indians in attendance to "get off the res" as soon as they possibly can, and then jokingly added, "White kids ought to leave Santa Fe, too." But anyone who leaves the reservation always will have a dual identity and always be perceived as betraying other Indians.
*Fifteen years ago, this town was weird, but now weirdness is mainstream. For example, if you want to be a pediatrician in Santa Fe, you don't need to go to college because in this town everything is done "shamanistically." As in everything. He asked, "You don't use nails, right?" when horseshoeing, for Santa Feans even practice shamanistic horseshoeing.

*Nothwithstanding the above, he says Seattle is even more 'lefty' than our little town.