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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Presents a literary memoir of poems, essays, and intimate family photos that reflect on the author's complicated relationship with his mother and his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316270755
031627075X
Branch Call Number: PS3551.L35774 Z46 2017x
PS3551.L35774 Z46 2017x
362.82 Alexie
362.82 Alexie
Characteristics: 457 pages ; 25 cm

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n
novereem
Sep 24, 2017

This is a courageous, open, and fierce memoir. I just finished it and may need a few days to think about what he taught me about grief by just honestly sharing his.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

Sherman Alexie has officially been inducted into my Hall of Fame for favorite writers and, shockingly, I’m a part of the few who have yet to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I have never been more inspired, heartbroken, and intrigued from reading a memoir of someone’s life. To be fair I had no notion as to what to expect from Alexie- after all I have never read his work.

Most memoirs will open up from “the beginning of it all” and work its way through the individual’s life, with the big, grand shining moment being the climax, until we close with somber, hopeful words for the future. Alexie’s memoir was a series of multiple, drawn-out, (sometimes) spontaneous climaxes- I felt my emotions being dragged everywhere from laughter and joy to grief and emptiness. I have never heard an author tear up and sob in an audiobook describing their pain. For me that is something that is so raw; rare is it for an author to truly open up to their readers in such a vulnerable state.

g
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.

Quotes

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t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

"There are family mysteries I cannot solve. There are family mysteries I am unwilling to solve."

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

Ah, friend, this world-this one universe-
Is already too expansive for me.
When I die, let my mourners know
That I shrugged at the possibility
Of other universes. Hire a choir-
Let them tell the truth
But tell it choral-
Let the assembled voices sing
About my theology:
I'm the fragile and finite mortal
Who wanted no part of immortality.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

Thing is, I don't believe in ghosts. But I see them all the time.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

My mother was a lifeguard on the shores of Lake F*cked.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

But a person can be genocided-can have every connection to his past severed- and live to be an old man whose rib cage is a haunted house built around his heart.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

Self preservation was my religion.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

Poverty was our spirit animal.

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

I often wonder why I am the one who remember all the pain?

t
taylorwoods
Sep 23, 2017

In the indigenous world, we assign sacred value to circles. But sometimes a circle just means you keep returning to the same shit again and again. This book is a series of circles, sacred and profane.

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