Illinois Authors

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Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.

Born: , in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Van Alst was born and raised in Chicago. His debut story collection, Sacred Smokes, paints a portrait of growing up Native American in Chicago.

Biography: Theodore C. Van Alst Jr., an associate professor and the chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana, is a creative editor for Transmotion, an online journal of postmodern indigenous studies. His fiction and photography have been widely published. He is also the editor of The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones (UNM Press).


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction


Selected Titles

Sacred smokes /
ISBN: 0826359906 OCLC: 1028585090

"Growing up in a gang in the city can be dark. Growing up Native American in a gang in Chicago is a whole different story. This book takes a trip through that unexplored part of Indian Country, an intense journey that is full of surprises, shining a light on the interior lives of people whose intellectual and emotional concerns are often overlooked. This dark, compelling, occasionally inappropriate, and often hilarious linked story collection introduces a character who defies all stereotypes about urban life and Indians. He will be in readers' heads for a long time to come"--