Sherman Alexie

Kids, it may be difficult, but you should listen to your parents. Sometimes they know what they’re talking about. Sherman Alexie received a 2007 National Book Award for his young-adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The semi-autobiographical tale—with illustrations by Ellen Forney—follows a young cartoonist who leaves the rez (near Spokane) to attend an all-white school. Cultural identity is a frequent topic for Alexie, who always brings a sharp sense of humor to the art of fitting in and standing out. The Absolutely True Diary follows Nick Hornby into the YA sector in what could be a new trend: offering a familiar voice and fresh perspective on teenage struggles. BRIAN MILLER

Fri., March 11, 7 p.m., 2011