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What You Pawn I Will Redeem

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A homeless man recognizing in a pawn shop window the fancy-dance regalia that was stolen fifty years earlier from his late grandmother.
Published April 21st 2003 by The New Yorker
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4.14  · 
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 ·  267 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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A good short story by Sherman Alexie that subverts the white man's hero's quest while playing with narrative time. I enjoyed discussing it in class, but the voice did not work for me - the main character felt extraneous to the story, even though the story centered on him and his journey. Recommended from those who want to read a work of Alexie's outside his YA writing, as well as for those who desire an experimental piece.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story. Great mix of comedy and tragedy, thereby capturing the inherent mixture of both found in reality.
Angela Chen
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 story of a Native American man trying to stock up $1000 in 24 hours to buy his dead grandmother’s old stolen regalia. very nice, read for english class
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, short-story
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What can I say about Sherman Alexie other than his total awareness of Native American culture as it relates to White Culture in the United States? Having lived on and near the Rez for a number of years I think that this story, more so than Absolutely True Diaries of a Part-Time Indian, is one of the most honest, hopeful, and darkly humorous stories I've read that deals with the subject of cultural identity and c
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Another great short story from Sherman Alexie. Originally published in The New Yorker. It is now included in a collection of short stories, "Ten Little Indians". If your not reading Sherman Alexie you are missing out on one of the greatest writers of our times.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have not been a big fan of Sherman's work in the past. His critical acclaim did not to me, measure up to the writing I had seen. This story, however, had appeared on a New Yorker best of list and after reading it I have to give it a strong endorsement. This is a very good story.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written in a lighthearted manner with a mixture of tragedy and hope, this short story is beautiful.

Alexie is very powerful when it comes to making the reader see how marginalized and unfairly treated Indians are in America, even in places that are technically their own.

Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This man, Sherman Alexie, sexually abuses women serially and I will never support his work.

Read the comments section:
Garrett Evans
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Told in an equally lighthearted and tragic tone, Alexie often beautifully captures the intersection between loss of identity and loss of culture through the life of a Native homeless man in Seattle. The story is warm in the moments of kindness we see others express toward the protagonist, but bleak in the way that he remains adrift in a world that has long disadvantaged him and his ancestors.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect short story. Beautiful characters, small, revealing moments that are unforgettable gems. And the ending lines? Forget about it!
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
English class read, a very angsty story. it kind of reminds me of the fault in our stars.
Paulina Sanchez
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a short story about a man who wants to get his grandmother's regalia from a pawn shop. It's a very interesting story that definitely gets you thinking. It is very well written; I want to look up more things written by Alexie now.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have yet to find something this man has written that I have not loved. I would say I have no words for his work, but that isn't true: I have lots of words. Further gushing may be found here: https://undergroundtreehousejournal.w...
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
A thinker.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good story, much like his novels.
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Sep 21, 2017 added it
It made me look twice at a random passerby who was holding a quarter in one hand, and a scratch ticket in another.

Also, there's a good story behind this one, how Alexie hid this one away in a box before digging it out after years to finally see its value. He was worried it would be too stereotypical of a Native American to write a story about a down-and-out drunkard.
Richard Testani
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Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Alexie has published 18 books to date.
Alexie is an award-winning and prolific author and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Sherman's best known works in
“Because they don’t want to be perfect, because only God is perfect, Indian people sew flaws into their powwow regalia. My family always sewed one yellow bead somewhere on our regalia. But we always hid it so that you had to search really hard to find it.” 2 likes
“I loved the smell of ocean water. Salt always smells like memory.” 2 likes
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