Constructing Identities and Narrating the Self: Sherman Alexie’s Flight as a Fictional Memoir

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Flight (2007), Sherman Alexie takes a pristine approach to Native identity
and the complexity of being Native in contemporary U.S. society. In this both highly praised and somewhat criticized novel, personal and social identities are closely linked to history and memory as well as to violence – past, present, and future. As an orphan of hybrid heritage, Zits, the teenage protagonist, is born into a culture that excludes him from participation. Through time traveling, he not only recounts and reflects on episodes in history through the lens of five male characters but is also launched on a spiritual journey. From this vantage point, Zits reflects on multi-temporal levels of the past and on conflicting identities – his own and those of others whose bodies he occupies. Instead of continuing to be victimized by the ‘master’ narrative, the protagonist becomes the master narrator of his own circular life story, and ultimately of a ‘real’,
more unified self.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalOp. Cit.: Revista de Estudos Anglo-Americanos/A Journal of Anglo-American Studies
Volume2nd Series
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 30.11.2015

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