BEST LOCAL AUTHOR - Sherman Alexie - Sherman Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, but his readers will tell you that, as one critic has said, his writing is as powerful as any writer's "of any color today."
Alexie's writing possesses a forceful immediacy, yet also precision and a gentle humor born of empathy. His are the stories of Indians and whites, but mostly of people, whether couples or strangers, lovers or friends. You likely know of Alexie even if you haven't read him yet. (We say yet, because it's likely, given his prospects, everyone will read him, or of him, or see his films.) He's penned a dozen novels and short story collections, including The Toughest Indian in the World and Reservation Blues, along with the screenplay for Smoke Signals. His most recent foray into film, The Business of Fancydancing, is also his directorial debut.
The New Yorker calls Alexie one of the best American fiction writers under 40. We say, he's one of the best of any age.
2nd: Patrick McManus
3rd: Tony Bamonte