256 pages; Grove
Sherman Alexie is not a finicky writer. He is often messy and in-your-face in a way that can make you laugh (or shudder) when you least expect to—as when one story's narrator, a Spokane Indian, constructs an exit interview after his father's death ("Your oldest son and your two daughters, all over 36 years of age, still live in your house. Do you think this is a lovely expression of tribal culture? Or is it a symptom of extreme familial codependence?"). War Dances is Alexie's fiercely freewheeling collection of stories and poems about the tragicomedies of ordinary lives.