Life and Death in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

What up, nerds? I am taking a little break from recapping the book series I am covering from the 1990s and early 2000s and am bringing you Shadyside’s first feature. Exciting, right? Before I get into it, though, I want to explain what a Shadyside Feature is. Unlike my recaps (Check out any entry here on Goosebumps or Fear Street) in which I attempt to write about anything and everything I have to say about a book, and unlike a review in which I focus primarily on my opinions on a book and if I would or would not recommend that book to others, a feature covers an aspect of a book I want to look into deeper. I might write about a recurring theme, a character’s development, or why a book should or should not be challenged by schools. Also, unlike my recaps and reviews, you may see me post more than one feature about a book. With features, I either do not have the time or energy to cover everything I want to write about a book, or I have so much to say about one aspect of a book that it warrants its own entry. For this book, the case is very much the latter.

I mentioned I might write about why a book should or should not be challenged by schools, and that is a great segue into the novel I am writing about in this entry, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This book is heavily challenged in schools all across the United States for a multitude of reasons. No, I am not going to write about why this book should or should not be challenged (at least not in this entry). I want to focus on a plot device — a motif that I think helps push the novel ahead: death. Before I jump into that, however, I want to first, warn you that spoilers for this book are littered throughout the entry right after the plot summary, and second, give you that plot summary, an introduction to the book.

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