Thomas King wins Governor-General’s Award for fiction.
November 27, 2014 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Thomas King wins Governor-General’s Award for fiction In February, King won the British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. On Tuesday, he won the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction for The Back of the Turtle, his first novel in 15 years.

In The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative, (Massey Lecture link here) Thomas King outlines the nineteenth-century fascination with and fabrication of “the literary Indian, the dying Indian, the imaginary construct.”[i] These elaborations, King argues, reveal less about “authentic” Native identity than about a foundational “national fantasy,” or what Daniel Francis has similarly examined as “the image of native people that White Canadians [have] manufactured.”

Tom King is also a noted Canadian/American humorist, and wrote and performed in the late, great Dead Dog Comedy Hour.
posted by Nevin (8 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of my most favourite storytellers. 'bout time!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 7:57 PM on November 27, 2014


And Dead Dog Café was the bomb!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 8:06 PM on November 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Green Grass Running Water is one of the funniest books I've ever read.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:07 PM on November 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


He so deserves this.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:31 AM on November 28, 2014


Wow. Well deserved. I've written to him. He used to teach at my university. Wonderful writer. (Fifteen years already? I feel old.)

Last year (?) he told my friend and I that he'd be happy to support our local Idle No More efforts, but that he couldn't meet us for a while because he was working on a new book.

Green Grass, Running Water is a clever use of narrativity and semiotics. If you want to be really nerdy about your literature, Coyote Kills John Wayne (Chapter 4) is an excellent intellectual study of the book with regards to its involvement of the trickster.

Can't wait to read his new book. The aforementioned friend and I are both allies of the local Six Nations community, and advocates of Native rights in general, and I'll have to fight him for the first copy at the library.
posted by quiet earth at 7:10 AM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


What is it about Tom King? Is it the ability to show us hard truths through laughter? His ability to make first nations stories everyone's story...
posted by chapps at 8:36 PM on November 28, 2014


I love Thomas King. When setting my course texts for next semester a few weeks ago, I realized I had inadvertently included both a short story and a novel by Thomas King--heck, I'd teach all Thomas King but it's a survey course so I can't really do that.

In case you haven't read the titular story from A Short History of Indian People in Canada...you really should.
Whup! Whup! Whup!
Look out! Bob shouts. There are Indians flying into the skyscrapers and falling on the sidewalk.
Whup!
Mohawk, says Bill.
Whup! Whup!
Couple of Cree over here, says Rudy.
Amazing, says Bob. How can you tell?
By the feathers, says Bill. We got a book.
....
It’s a real problem this time of the year, says Bill.
Whup!
Whup! Whup!
Bill and Rudy pull green plastic bags out of their pockets and try to find the open ends.
The dead ones we bag, says Rudy.
The live ones we tag, says Bill. Take them to the shelter. Nurse them back to health. Release them in the wild.
Amazing, says Bob.
A few wander off dazed and injured. If we don’t find them right away, they don’t stand a chance.
Amazing, says Bob.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:01 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


     That evening Lionel went out to the reserve. His mother was trying out a new recipe from the Italian cookbook his father had given her at Christmas. "It's Tortino de Carciofi with Ribollita," his mother told him as he came in the door.
     "What is it?"
     "Vegetable soup and an artichoke omelet."
     "Where'd you get the artichokes?"
     "I had to substitute."
     "So, what's in it now?"
     "Elk."
     Even Lionel had to admit it was tasty. Not exactly Italian, but tasty.
(Thomas King, ladies and gentlemen! He'll be here all week! so long as the grass is green and the waters run!)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:48 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


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