Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: , in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

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

Biographical and Professional Information

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).


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: No.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Sacred smokes /
ISBN: 0826359906. OCLC Number: 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"--