The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian PDF Download



Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a powerful coming-of-age novel that delves deep into the life of Arnold Spirit, a young Native American boy, as he navigates the challenges of adolescence, identity, and hope on the Spokane Indian Reservation. This article provides an overview, summary, memorable quotes, a review, and answers to frequently asked questions about this extraordinary literary work.


“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a semi-autobiographical novel that was published in 2007. It is written in the form of a diary, which allows readers to intimately connect with Arnold’s thoughts and experiences. The book touches on sensitive topics such as poverty, racism, alcoholism, and cultural identity, making it a thought-provoking and emotionally charged read.


The story revolves around Arnold Spirit, Jr., a budding cartoonist who was born with physical disabilities, including a severe stutter and hydrocephalus. Arnold lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, where poverty and despair are rampant. One day, Arnold decides to attend a school outside the reservation, Reardan High School, in search of a better education and opportunities.

Arnold’s decision to leave the reservation isn’t met with enthusiasm by everyone. He faces criticism and isolation from his own people, who view him as a traitor. However, Arnold’s determination to create a better life for himself drives him to persevere. At Reardan, he makes new friends, both Native and non-Native, and learns valuable life lessons.

Throughout the novel, Arnold grapples with the complexities of his identity as a Native American. He is caught between two worlds, trying to reconcile his heritage with his aspirations. Arnold’s journey is one of self-discovery and resilience as he navigates the challenges of poverty, bullying, racism, and loss.

Memorable Quotes

  • “I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.”This quote reflects Arnold’s belief in the power of art and storytelling as a means of coping with the difficulties in his life.
  • “If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.”Arnold learns the value of friendship and connection as he opens himself up to new experiences and people.
  • “I realized that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms.”This quote encapsulates Arnold’s struggle to define his identity and embrace multiple aspects of his identity.


Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of the challenges faced by Native American youth in contemporary society. The novel tackles issues such as poverty, discrimination, and cultural identity with a mix of humor, candor, and empathy.

One of the strengths of the book is its relatable protagonist, Arnold Spirit. Readers can’t help but root for him as he confronts adversity with resilience and determination. Arnold’s journey is one of self-discovery, and his diary entries allow us to intimately experience his thoughts and emotions.

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The novel’s portrayal of the Spokane Indian Reservation is unflinchingly honest. It sheds light on the harsh realities of life on the reservation, where hope can often feel like a distant dream. However, amidst the challenges, the story also emphasizes the importance of hope, friendship, and the possibility of change.

Alexie’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making the book suitable for readers of various ages. The use of cartoons and illustrations throughout the novel adds a unique and dynamic dimension to the storytelling.

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is not just a story about a young boy trying to escape his circumstances; it’s a story about the universal human desire for a better life and the strength it takes to pursue one’s dreams, even in the face of adversity.


Que: Is the novel suitable for young readers?
Yes, the novel is often recommended for young adult readers and is commonly taught in middle and high schools. However, it does contain themes of poverty, racism, and alcoholism, so it’s important for parents and educators to consider the maturity and sensitivity of the reader.

Que: Is the book entirely based on Sherman Alexie’s own life?
While the novel draws heavily from Alexie’s own experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, it is a work of fiction. Arnold Spirit is a fictional character, though his experiences mirror some of Alexie’s own.

Que: What is the significance of the title, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”?
The title reflects Arnold’s struggle with identity. He considers himself a “part-time Indian” because he attends school off the reservation and interacts with both Native and non-Native communities. It underscores the theme of identity and belonging that runs throughout the novel.

Que: Are there any film adaptations of the book?
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, there were plans for a film adaptation of the novel, but I do not have information about whether it has been released or not. It’s advisable to check the latest updates for any developments in this regard.


Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a remarkable literary work that addresses themes of identity, resilience, and hope in the context of a young Native American’s journey. Through Arnold Spirit’s diary entries, readers are invited to step into his shoes and experience the challenges and triumphs of his life. This novel continues to be a source of inspiration and reflection for readers of all ages, encouraging us to confront our own struggles with courage and determination.

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