illustration of main character, Junior, holding a basketball and looking over his shoulder

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie
Start Free Trial

What is Junior's sister called?

Junior's sister is called Mary Runs Away.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Junior's older sister is called Mary Runs Away. She got this nickname because of her rather wild and unpredictable nature. She is a bright, funny, and beautiful young woman who has essentially squandered her gifts. After graduating high school, where Junior's geometry teacher, Mr. P., claims she showed promise as a writer, Mary Runs Away buried herself away in the basement with no thought of attending a college or pursuing any kind of career. She had dreams of writing romance novels, but this too came to nothing for many years.

Junior's decision to go to Reardan High despite the reaction of the other Spokane Indians on the reservation inspires Mary to take an active stance in her own life. First, she starts writing again, resurrecting her old dream of becoming a romance novelist. Then she suddenly elopes with a Flathead Indian and then moves in with him in Montana (giving her name "Mary Runs Away" an additional and quite literal meaning). For a while, it seems as though Mary's lot has improved, but the unpredictable part of her personality ends up mirroring the turn of events in her life: Mary dies in a fire, unable to save herself due to being drunk.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on