April 21, 2003, edition of The New Yorker features the short story by Sherman Alexie, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem.” The story is a humorous account of a homeless Indian in Seattle, told in a light-hearted first person with entries in diary form. After a brief prologue that describes the life of the Indian Jackson Jackson, the story begins in a pawn shop where Jackson Jackson and two of his friends discover a pow-wow-dance regalia that Jackson Jackson believes belonged to his grandmother. The pawnbroker, though sympathetic to Jackson Jackson’s desire to have the regalia back in the family insists that the price is $999 dollars (a dollar off the asking price) and that if Jackson Jackson comes back in with the money by lunchtime tomorrow, that he can take the regalia. The remainder of the story tells how Jackson Jackson plots to come up with the money in ways other than working. He gets money and promptly loses it, mainly by treating his other homeless friends to drink or food. In the end, he does not come up with the money, but the pawnbroker decides that Jackson Jackson’s efforts have won the regalia in other ways.
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