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"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" was both a critical and commercial success for author Sherman Alexie. The multitalented Alexie is also a poet, filmmaker and occasional comedian who often draws on his experiences as a Native American for his work. The 1998 independent film "Smoke Signals" was based on his short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" from his book "Lone Ranger and Tonto: Fistfight in Heaven." Alexie's new work is "War Dances" (Grove/Atlantic).