In July of this year, local literary titan Sherman Alexie cancelled the book tour for his new memoir, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, which focuses on his relationship with his mother. In an incredibly moving Facebook post he wrote about his decision, available in full on his website, he described the way visions of his mother haunted him in the early days of the tour. They got so bad he ultimately determined he needed to "take a big step back and do most of [his] grieving in private." But he also vowed he'd return to the road once he felt strong enough. According to Laurie Hertzel over at the Star Tribune, that time is now.
But there are some conditions to his return.
Though he's officially back on tour, Alexie told the Tribune he'll be "doing only two appearances in conjunction with the memoir — Talking Volumes, and the New Yorker Festival in early October." He won't read directly from the book, but he will answer questions about it during these interviews. That said, "if he’s asked questions that he doesn’t want to answer, he won’t answer them."
But he will be his old warm and hilarious and occasionally pleasantly cantankerous self for the other events he has on his tour schedule. You can catch him next in Seattle at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Over e-mail, Alexie told me he feels rested and healthy again. "Terrified by Trump and the Trumpites and climate change, but not by my mother's ghost," he said.