Mrs. Mattie Quesenberry-Smith
A man whose work that draws almost identically from his own life experiences is a man who is not afraid of truth. He is not afraid to speak his mind. He is a man without care for consequence or reaction. A man whose own life as a Native American growing up on a reservation dissatisfied him to the point of leaving to pursue a better life. The man being spoken of goes by the name of Sherman Alexie. And he is not afraid to share his experiences with the people. Sherman Alexie's work is like a straight shot into the mind of a Spokane Indian. Probing every corner of the conscious and bringing forth the thoughts and opinions of his people. Alexie projects through his work the trials and tribulations of life as a Native American in a nation dominated by European Americans. Alexie's Flight Patterns follows William, a Spokane Indian, who is a businessman who is plagued by nightmares of his wife and children being murdered by someone while he is away on business trips. William explains to his cab driver, Fekadu, that he is afraid to board an airplane with Muslims which he refers to as "brown men." His cab driver then explains to William that he used to be a terrorist before fleeing his country. Fekadu explains further that he was a pilot for his former countries army and was forced by his leader to kill his own people. Refusing to do so, Fekadu fled his country and sought refuge in the United States. He goes on to say that he can never return to his homeland for fear he and his family would be killed. Perhaps Alexie is trying to provide a gateway into his own thoughts on terrorism having shown the reader his changing opinion what a real terrorist is. Having written Flight Patterns in a post 9/11 world perhaps Alexie is trying to convey to the reader that not all terrorists are the same. That there is a possibility that they are simply doing what they have been ordered to do to save their families and...