How Do You Measure A Marriage?

The sweet and painful odyssey of a long marriage, and the bitter sadness of one cut short by tragedy.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

The sweet and painful odyssey of a long marriage by contemporary master Sherman Alexie, and the bitter sadness of a marriage cut short by tragedy.
”Call it a potent mixture of arrogance and self hatred, but I believed I was the only Indian man good enough for my Indian wife…I didn’t understand what I was feeling, and I didn’t know what to do.”
--Sherman Alexie, “Do You Know Where I Am?”
Two stories about love and loss look at historical events through a very human lens. Lyudmilla Ignatenko’s “A Solitary Human Voice” a touching memoir of her last days with her husband, a victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is read by award-winning actress Stockard Channing. The story was part of a program presented in cooperation with the International Center of Photography. Author Sherman Alexie spoke with us about the evolution of his work, and his story “Do You Know Where I Am?”, in an interview that is included with this program. He speaks of the tradition of struggle and quest that mark many of his stories (“A man in motion has a chance”) but also his growing desire to explore Native American experiences that don’t often get reflected in print—those of white-collar Indians. “Do You Know Where I Am,” is the funny, touching story of such a couple, and the hard and rewarding job of crafting an enduring marriage. It is read by the actor Keir Dullea, who admits to falling in love with Alexie’s work after reading “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” in The New Yorker “A Solitary Human Voice,” by Lyudmilla Ignatenko as told to Svetlana Alexievich, read by Stockard Channing
“Do You Know Where I Am?” by Sherman Alexie, read by Keir Dullea
Feature: Interview with Sherman Alexie

Comments [6]

How can I listen to the interview with Sherman Alexie on Do You Know Where I Am?

Nov. 12 2011 01:31 PM
Daniel Nowak from Bay City, MI

I'm so glad I'm not the only one moved to tears by the Sherman Alexie story. Thought perhaps I'm just becoming a doddering, sentimental old fool. Whatta beautiful, compelling, powerful story with just enough humor at just the right times to make it bearable. But I didn't hear the beginning or end or all of the interview. Like Marilyn Schorr, I'd like to hear it again and also share with my wife. Anyway to do that?

Sep. 18 2008 01:15 AM
Mark from Sydney, Australia

I listened to both these stories on podcast this morning and found them both deeply moving as well as being wonderfully read. The Lyudmilla Ignatenko story was so beautifully restrained (and Stockard Channing proves once again that she is probably America's most underrated actress) and the Sherman Alexie story left me in tears.

Sep. 17 2008 05:57 PM
marilyn schorr from NYC

“Do You Know Where I Am?” by Sherman Alexie, read by Keir Dullea
Feature: Interview with Sherman Alexie

Listened to the above while driving. Thought the author got the emotions just right, the words were melodic.

I wasn't able to listen to the ending, is there a way to re-listen to the story?

Sep. 07 2008 10:29 AM
Kevin Bradshaw from Denton Co. Texas

Id reckon theres no better sign of a good story than to say it brought tears to an ole cowboys eyes I was listening as I was driveing home I was lucky to be pulling up my road as the last part was coming round or else Id have had to pull over Aint it odd how we can sometimes shed tears of sadness and joy at the same time . Makes me so enveous of wordsmiths sometimes Im with someone who causes me to be both speachless and breathless when Im trying to tell him of my love But Ill indeed be reading this story aloud to him but I know good and well it wont be easy to get through

Sep. 01 2008 05:51 AM
Anastasja from San Francisco, California

Sherman Alexie's "Do You Know Where I Am?" was so touching and insightful that I had to run directly home to try to find a copy for sale online. I can't wait to read more of his work.

Dear Anastasja:

Thank you for your lovely note; we are so delighted be have been able to feature a number of Sherman Alexie stories over the years. If you don't know it, you might also enjoy, "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem," which was read by Keir Dullea several years ago. Please go to for information about which Alexie anthology it appeared in.

Aug. 31 2008 09:03 PM

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