10 Questions for Sherman Alexie

Native American poet and author Sherman Alexie on rain dances, alcoholism and Chief Wahoo

Lee Towndrow for TIME

In the first story of your book Blasphemy, the narrator says, "Whenever an Indian says he's traditional, you know that Indian is full of s — -." Really?
Yes. When you're colonized, you end up exploiting your own spirituality. You're subject to so many negative stereotypes, you embrace the positive ones. Non-Indians love us in that way. They think we're all priests and healers. After generations of being reviled and dehumanized, to be thought of as magical is pretty seductive.

So, are you personally responsible for the Indian summer we're enjoying right now?
I showed up here and it...

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