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Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d Alene Indian, grew up on a reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane. He received a B.A. from Washington State University in 1991 and has since published poems, stories and novels. His writing focuses on tribal connections and draws upon the oral and religious traditions of his heritage; he often weaves together elements of the personal, mythical, historical and modern. His most famous book is a collection of stories called The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which became the focus for the film Smoke Signals. He has published a total of 14 books, including his most recent short story collection, The Toughest Indian in the World (2000).