King, Thomas (Vol. 89)
Thomas King 1943–
American-Canadian novelist, short story writer, editor, scriptwriter, and author of children's books.
The following entry provides an overview of King's career through 1995.
Typically classified as a writer of Native-Canadian fiction, King is known for works in which he addresses the marginalization of Amerindians, delineates "pan-Indian" concerns and histories, and attempts to abolish common stereotypes about Native Americans.
Born in Sacramento, California, King is of Greek, German, and Native-American descent. His father, of Cherokee origins, abandoned the family when King was a child. Although King visited his Cherokee relatives in Oklahoma as a youth, he was primarily raised white and the Natives in his works are typically of Blackfoot descent. After graduating from high school, King traveled abroad, eventually working as a photojournalist in New Zealand and Australia. During this time he began writing, but he has described these early attempts as "real pukey stuff." Returning to the United States, King entered college, earning a B.A. and M.A. in English from California State University in the early 1970s and a Ph.D. in American Studies and English in 1986 from the University of Utah. He resumed writing while doing doctoral work and teaching in Alberta, Canada. A citizen of Canada and the United States, King has taught in both countries and acknowledges that Natives are his primary audience. Many of his works are set in Canada, but he questions attempts to define him solely as a Native-Canadian writer: "There's only a problem in the sense that I am not originally from Canada, and the Cherokee aren't a Canadian tribe. Now that becomes a problem only if you recognize the particular political line which runs between Canada and the U.S., and if you agree with the assumptions that that line makes."
The exclusion of Native Americans from white society, history, and culture is a prevalent theme in much of King's writing. For example, King's first novel, Medicine River (1990), focuses on Will, a mixed blood of Blackfoot descent. Returning to his hometown of Medicine River, Alberta, where he works as a photographer, Will must come to terms with the alienation he feels within his circle of family and friends as well as the stereotypes projected on—and at times perpetuated by—Native Americans. A cycle of vignettes and an intimate portrait of small-town life, Medicine River tries to subvert misperceptions about Natives while including such traditional Native characters as the coyote trickster figure. The coyote persona, which has the power to create and destroy, is also prominently featured in A Coyote Columbus Story (1992), a children's book that relates the creation of the world and the "discovery" of the Americas by Christopher Columbus from a Native perspective, and in King's 1993 novel, Green Grass, Running Water. Incorporating shifting viewpoints and a convoluted, circular storyline, Green Grass, Running Water follows, in part, the actions of four ancient Indian spirits. Perceived by whites as insane and aged, these spirits have been confined to a mental institution from which they periodically escape in order to "fix" the world; in this instance, they hope to prevent an environmental catastrophe from occurring in the small Canadian town of Blossom. The novel also concerns several members of the Blackfoot nation who reside in Blossom, their interpersonal relationships, their attempts to make a living in the white world, and their ongoing debate over a proposal to build a hydroelectric dam in the region. Commentators frequently note that King's skill as a humorist and satirist is particularly evident in this work. For example, one character runs a highly profitable restaurant by claiming to sell "houndburgers" to white tourists. In another instance, the Indian spirits rewrite Hollywood history by colorizing old black-and-white Westerns and allowing the Indian "savages" to triumph over John Wayne and the United States Calvary. Irony, colonization, assimilation, and the oral tradition are also central to King's 1993 short story collection, One Good Story, That One, which has been praised for its use of Indian dialect. The critically acclaimed title story, for example, relates an elderly Native's attempts to hoodwink anthropologists by trying to pass off a comic version of the Judeo-Christian creation myth as authentically Native. Juxtaposing Christian and Native religious imagery with references to popular culture, the narrator recalls the actions and motivations of the practical woman Evening, the dimwitted Ah-damn, and their angry, selfish god. King has additionally edited anthologies of critical and creative works dealing with Canadians, indigenous peoples, and their literatures.
King's work has been favorably received by critics. He won a Governor General's award for A Coyote Columbus Story and a PEN/Josephine Miles Award for Medicine River, which was also nominated for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. His novels and short stories are known for their humor and irony, evocation of place, and focus on Native society and culture. His works are additionally praised for their inventive manipulation of plot and as attempts at historical revisionism.
The Native in Literature: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives [editor, with Cheryl Calver and Helen Hoy] (essays) 1987
All My Relations: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Native Fiction [editor] (short stories) 1990
∗Medicine River (novel) 1990
A Coyote Columbus Story (children's book) 1992
Green Grass, Running Water (novel) 1993
One Good Story, That One (short stories) 1993
∗King also wrote the scripts for the 1993 radio and television adaptations of this work.
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SOURCE: A review of The Native in Literature, in Choice, Vol. 26, No. 3, November, 1988, p. 500.
[Evers is an American critic and educator. In the following, he offers a positive assessment of The Native in Literature.]
The editors [of The Native in Literature] say this is the first time the topic has been addressed in a "Canadian" context. For that reason alone, this collection provides a needed complement to such "American" but US-bound classics as Roy Harvey Pearce's Savagism and Civilization (1953) and Leslie Fiedler's The Return of the Vanishing American. The volume is a step toward a more comprehensive, hemispheric consideration of the subject that will include work inspired/written/published north, south, and within the boundaries of the continental US, and work written in the many languages of the continent as well as English. As do many other conference collections, this volume addresses diverse subjects within what seems a very narrow theme. The quality of the essays spans the usual range: the embarrassingly uninformed and mundane to the illuminating and riveting, with a lot of competent work in between. The essays by Kate Vangen, Barbara Godard, Robin McGrath, and Jarold Ramsey are outstanding, and make the collection a necessary purchase for all colleges with undergraduate and/or graduate programs in "American" literature.
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SOURCE: "A Double-Bladed Knife: Subversive Laughter in Two Stories by Thomas King," in Canadian Literature, Nos. 124-25, Spring-Summer, 1990, pp. 243-50.
[Atwood is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, critic, and author of children's books. In the following essay, she offers an analysis of the short stories "Joe the Painter and the Deer Island Massacre" and "One Good Story, That One," commenting on King's use of irony and humor.]
Once upon a time long ago, in 1972 to be exact, I wrote a book called Survival, which was about Canadian literature; an eccentric subject in those days, when many denied there was any. In this book, there was a chapter entitled "First People: Indians and Eskimos as Symbols." What this chapter examined was the uses made by non-Native writers of Native characters and motifs, over the centuries and for their own purposes. This chapter did not examine poetry and fiction written by Native writers in English, for the simple reason that I could not at that time find any; although I was able to recommend a small list of nonfiction titles. The closest thing to "imaginative" writing by Natives were "translations" of Native myths and poetry, which might turn up at the beginnings of anthologies, or be offered as a species of indigenous fairy tale in grade-school readers. (Why did I overlook Pauline Johnson? Perhaps because, being half-white, she somehow didn't rate as the...
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SOURCE: "Dad Was with the Rodeo," in The New York Times, September 23, 1990, p. 29.
[Butler is an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. In the review below, he provides a favorable assessment of Medicine River.]
We may presume that Thomas King, who is Cherokee, Greek and German and teaches American studies at the University of Minnesota, knows his territory. His first novel, Medicine River, is a nice book, in the older sense of the word "nice": economical, precise, and elegant.
Medicine River would appear to be a charming and low-key tale, dependent for its effects on the reader's gradually building affection for a set of engaging if generally diffident main characters.
Will, the narrator, is half Blackfoot and a photographer in Medicine River, a small town on the edge of a Blackfoot reserve in Alberta, Canada. He is one of two sons of a spirited Blackfoot woman and a charming but ne'er-do-well rodeo rider, both now dead. He cannot live on the reserve itself, since he is not full Blackfoot. His brother is kept offstage traveling the world, except for flashbacks. His father was never home during Will's youth, and his mother refused to talk about the man.
The absence of his father, it becomes clear, is the great condition of Will's life, and it has made him profoundly detached and passive. What is his last name? His mother was...
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SOURCE: An interview in World Literature Written in English, Vol. 30, No. 2, Autumn, 1990, pp. 62-76.
[An American-born critic and educator, Rooke has served as a member of the Canada Council's Advisory Panel on Writing and Publication. In the excerpted interview below, King discusses stylistic and thematic aspects of Medicine River, his identity and origins, and the recent focus on Native Americans in contemporary literature.]
[Rooke]: Let's start with some questions on Medicine River. Will, the narrator of Medicine River, is a Native photographer. And in the novel, a white woman suggests that's funny, given how Indians feel about photography: the fear, presumably, of one's soul being gobbled up by the camera. I wonder how charged that very glib remark was for you, and what you're saying about it. Is it important in some way to your conception of Will as photographer? Or was the woman's remark just a throwaway crack?
[King]: Not really. There are points in the book where I play off historical stereotypes—one of which is that Indians don't like to have their picture taken because it is going to capture their soul.
I remember that the woman seems very thick when she asks the question, and that there's no follow-up from Will.
There's no need for Will to answer the question. The question itself is enough to remind the...
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SOURCE: "'Tell Our Own Stories': Politics and the Fiction of Thomas King," in World Literature Written in English, Vol. 30, No. 2, Autumn, 1990, pp. 77-84.
[In the essay below, Walton applies semiotic theory to Medicine River, viewing the novel as a postmodern, metadiscursive text that attempts to create "a presence for natives, in order to combat their status as Other."]
Margery Fee, in her essay "Romantic Nationalism and the Image of Native People in Contemporary English-Canadian Literature" [The Native in Literature, edited by Thomas King, Cheryl Calver, and Helen Hoy, 1987], argues that English-Canadian literature has required representations of the native to forge and to strengthen its sense of cultural identity. This is why, she suggests, the figure of the native assumes such prominence in these texts, and why the native cannot be erased from them. She contends that
it is difficult to kill off the literary Indian for good … he appears to metamorphose into the land, rather than die, as if to be available when needed. One explanation for his stubborn immortality here may be that many of the techniques that might kill him off … come from cultures where nationalism is not an issue, not because nationalism has been transcended, but because it is an unthreatened fact…. Marginal cultures can rarely afford to be cynical about nationalism: we are...
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SOURCE: "Searching for Home in High-Plains Canada," in The Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 1990, p. 13.
[In the following review, Bencivenga discusses King's treatment of family relationships, alienation, and grief in Medicine River.]
"Home is where when you have to go there, they have to take you in," wrote the poet Robert Frost, in a stark, unromantic Yankee view of home in the life of a dying hired hand.
Home, and having to go there, is the central fact of this delightful, bittersweet first novel [Medicine River] by Thomas King, who gives us a 1980s cross-cultural version of William Saroyan's classic, The Human Comedy.
The setting is the Alberta prairie town of Medicine River. It butts against the Blackfoot Indian reserve. Despite a backdrop of bitter cold winters and a landscape that is high-plains vast—remote, desolate, solitary—readers will search long and hard in contemporary fiction to find as intimate a sense of place and people as in Medicine River.
King, who is of Cherokee, Greek, and German origin, and a member of the native studies department at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, can be trusted as a reliable guide to present-day native Americans. Will, his narrator, is of mixed origin.
King's writing is as smooth and subtle as the snow-covered prairie, as gentle in recording human...
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SOURCE: "Temporal Interplay," in Canadian Literature, No. 13, Winter, 1991, pp. 212-13.
[In the excerpt below, Gillies considers King's treatment of time, memory, and identity in Medicine River.]
One of the great literary obsessions of the twentieth century is time. As Tom King's Medicine River and David Helwig's Of Desire amply demonstrate, this preoccupation has not diminished.
King is well known for his criticism, poetry, and short stories; Medicine River is his first novel. It is a marvelous work which effortlessly presents snapshots of life as seen through the eyes of its half-native narrator, Will a photographer who flees Toronto and returns home to Medicine River, Alberta. Through him we meet other members of the town's native community—Harlen Bigbear, who has a hand in almost everything going on; Louise Heavyman, the independent minded accountant with whom Will has a relationship; Floyd, Elwood, and the other players on the Medicine River Friendship Centre Warriors basketball team; and Martha Oldcrow, the marriage doctor; January Pretty Weasel, a battered wife who may have played a part in her husband's apparent suicide; David Plume, a native activist who was at Wounded Knee, and others. Will tells us bits of their stories and from them a strong sense of place, of person, of a way of life emerges. King does not use the novel as a platform from which he can...
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SOURCE: "Thomas King," in Publishers Weekly, Vol. 240, No. 10, March 8, 1993, pp. 56-7.
[In the following excerpt, based on a conversation with King, Weaver provides a general overview of King's career.]
The first thing one notices upon entering Thomas King's home—a rambling, three-story Victorian near the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, where its owner chairs the Native American studies department—is a large taxidermied coyote. The coyote is perched on a table, and seems to be howling at the ceiling.
"I don't like stuffed animals, and I would never have one," explains King, "except that a magazine in Canada flew me up to Montreal for a photo shoot. I spent eight hours in the studio with this coyote, and got attached to her." He bought it, and brought the animal home as carry-on luggage. The coyote now dominates a house filled with Native American art, at home with an author who has written often about its mythic counterpart.
Coyote, the best-known of traditional Indian trickster figures, has figured prominently in several King stories and does so again in his second novel, Green Grass, Running Water, just out from Houghton Mifflin.
With Green Grass, King emerges as a sort of Native American Kurt Vonnegut, addressing contemporary Native American life with a wild and comic imagination. The title refers to old treaties...
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SOURCE: "Setting Indian Legends Loose upon a Few Lives of Today," in Los Angeles Times, March 25, 1993, p. E2.
[An American critic and journalist, Eder received the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987. In the following, he provides a mixed review of Green Grass, Running Water.]
In Thomas King's [Green Grass, Running Water, an] arch fantasy about American Indians who rediscover their old values in a contemporary world, the principal roles are played by spirits.
One is Coyote, the mischievous, Loki-like figure of Indian tradition, who listens to King's story, comments on it and intervenes by dancing near a dam that encroaches upon an Indian reserve. His dance brings on an earthquake that shatters the dam. Coyote apologizes, then subverts the apology with an unrepentant "Hee-hee-hee-hee."
The others are four old Indians who travel around the country in the guise of bumbling hobos. They are, in fact, four primal female spirits who have been around since the beginning of the world. Their present concern is to fix up a little corner of it, namely, the little corner around the town of Blossom on the Canadian prairies.
At one point, watching a John Wayne western on a display of TV sets, they make a few adjustments. The U.S. cavalry disappears in mid-rescue, Wayne and Richard Widmark end up full of arrows and, for resplendent good measure, the old...
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SOURCE: "Tale of a Blackfoot Family in Canada," in The Christian Science Monitor, March 31, 1993, p. 13.
[In the review below, Knickerbocker offers praise for Green Grass, Running Water.]
Mix together a story that includes native-American and other creation myths, 20th-century Indians both modern and "traditional," white people who seem a bit confused, oral story-telling and straight novelistic narrative, and you're likely to produce a disaster, a literary dog's break-fast.
Or, if you're Thomas King—whose first novel, Medicine River, was sweet, poignant, and funny—then you somehow weave it all together in a way that leaves the reader fully satisfied.
Green Grass, Running Water is the tale of a contemporary Blackfoot family in Canada. Lionel Red Dog, approaching middle age, is stuck in a dead-end job selling TVs and stereos in the town of Blossom. His sister Latisha runs a tourist-trap cafe. Uncle Eli Stands Alone was a university professor in Toronto but has moved back to the family cabin, which stands in the way of a giant dam. Cousin Charlie Looking Bear is a smooth lawyer and front man for the company building the dam. Back on "the reserve," Lionel's mother likes to try out gourmet recipes but has to substitute elk for artichokes in an Italian dish.
Then there are four very old Indians named Ishmael, Hawkeye, Robinson Crusoe, and...
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SOURCE: "Coyote Goes Slapstick," in Books in Canada, Vol. XXII, No. 3, April, 1993, pp. 40-1.
[In the review below, McCormack provides a stylistic and thematic examination of Green Grass, Running Water, praising King's use of humor.]
Thomas King is a writer of varied talents. His first novel, Medicine River (1990), was widely praised, and has since been made into a TV movie. His children's book, A Coyote Columbus Story, was short-listed for last year's Governor General's Award. He's a notable scholar—chair of Native American studies at the University of Minnesota. He also happens to be Cherokee through his father and lays claim to Greek-German connections through his mother.
Among the many striking features of Green Grass, Running Water are the complexity of its plot and the pervasive good humour. This matter of plot—so many narrative strands on the go at once—will undoubtedly create problems for impatient readers. Some of these narratives are in the traditional realistic vein: the stories of five Indians (there are no "Native people" in this book)—Lionel, Alberta, Eli, Latisha, and Charlie—on their individual quests for happiness in a hostile world. Interwoven with their stories, at a kind of surrealistic, mythopoeic level, are the adventures of four elderly Indians (named, ironically, the Lone Ranger, Ishmael, Robinson Crusoe, and...
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SOURCE: "A Literary Trickster," Maclean's, Vol. 106, No. 18, May 3, 1993, pp. 43, 45.
[In the following, Turbide offers high praise for Green Grass, Running Water.]
Last year, Thomas King wrote A Coyote Columbus Story, a sly tale for children about Coyote, a traditional Indian trickster figure, and a greedy Christopher Columbus. Coyote, who loves baseball, sings and dances the whole world into existence—and accidentally conjures up the explorer. Columbus is searching for gold, chocolate cake, computer games and music videos while his companion sailors covet "a four-dollar beaver," "a fifteen-dollar moose" and "a two-dollar turtle." When Columbus enslaves Coyote's native friends, she tries to undo the damage. In Green Grass, Running Water, King's second novel for adults, Coyote—and the anarchic spirit that it embodies—turns up again in small-town Alberta. Playful and droll, Green Grass is a sophisticated satire on relations between natives and whites. But it is the freshness of voice that sets the book apart, an exhilarating blend of the real and the magical, the sacred and the profane, working themselves out in the lives of five Blackfoot Indians.
Like Coyote, King has been busy creating fictional worlds. One of them is the script that he wrote for a CBC movie, scheduled to air this fall, based on his first novel, Medicine River (1990), about a native...
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SOURCE: "Has Red Dog Gone White?" in The New York Times Book Review, July 25, 1993, p. 21.
[McManus is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and educator. In the following mixed review of Green Grass, Running Water, he examines the novel's structure.]
"As long as the grass is green and the waters run" is a phrase indicating perpetuity in 18th- and 19th-century treaties that ceded Indian land to the Governments of the United States and Canada. The Cherokee writer Thomas King uses the phrase in his second novel, Green Grass, Running Water, to underscore contemporary skepticism and rage about documents signed under duress several generations ago.
Even the hapless Blackfoot, Lionel Red Dog, a television and stereo salesman who is the novel's central character, can recognize the malignant, if unintended, irony:
It was a nice phrase, all right. But it didn't mean anything…. Every Indian on the reserve knew that. Treaties were hardly sacred documents. They were contracts, and no one signed a contract for eternity. No one. Even the E-Z Pay contracts Bursum [Lionel's condescending white boss] offered to his customers to help make a complete home entertainment system affordable never ran much past 5 or 10 years. Even with the balloon payment.
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SOURCE: A review of One Good Story, That One, in Quill & Quire, Vol. 59, No. 9, September, 1993, p. 61.
[In the review below, Anderson offers praise for One Good Story, That One.]
It becomes pleasingly clear toward the end of Thomas King's first collection of short fiction [One Good Story, That One] that the title's one good story could be almost any of these 10 deceptively simple but forthright tales.
Drawing on a wealth of Native North American Indian lore and a rich storytelling tradition, as he did in 1990's Medicine River and again in this year's Green Grass, Running Water, King here bears the mark of a talented mimic, ably recreating in "Trap Lines" the resentful lip of a Native teenager who, despite his father's awkward entreaties to go fishing, would rather dangle alone in front of the television; and in "Magpies," the desperate pleas of an aged matriarch who, above all, fears a lonely hospital death.
Such familial backdrops are only half the story, however, as King steals easily into fantastic landscapes inhabited by blue coyote space aliens, singing totem poles, Christopher Columbus, and Adam and Eve. Curiously rhythmic in style, King's odd parables make for an unsettling blend of Christian and Native myths, comedy and tragedy, the everyday and the surreal. Never weighed down with description or details, the stories careen...
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SOURCE: "News from the North," in The Horn Book Magazine, Vol. LXIX, No. 5, September-October, 1993, pp. 636-38.
[Ellis is a Canadian author of children's books, an educator, and a children's librarian. In the following excerpt, she applauds King's storytelling abilities and his focus on history, Native themes, and the marginalization of indigenous peoples in A Coyote Columbus Story.]
"At the margins is where the meanings are." This conviction, expressed by writer Thomas King, struck a chord in me, as I suspect it would for many children's writers and readers of children's books. The subversive quality of many "classic" children's books has been ably elucidated by Alison Lurie, and I think that quality, a quiet acceptance of alternative values, lives on in children's books even in this mass-market, "hit-driven," conservative publishing climate. King is better known as an adult writer, and the context of his remark was a response to an interview question about the motivation behind his oblique, playful, pun-filled, allusive style. But in his children's book A Coyote Columbus Story, King exhibits the same joyful celebration of life on the margins.
Last year's many debates on the occasion of the Columbus anniversary seemed to allow little room for a middle ground. Either Columbus, the textbook hero, "discovered" America or he was the first step in the ruination of that world. King...
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SOURCE: "Comical and Economical," in Books in Canada, Vol. XXII, No. 7, October, 1993, pp. 36-7.
[In the following review, Radu examines King's use of voice and focus on Native themes in One Good Story, That One.]
Thomas King possesses an acute ear for dialogue and the English-language speech rhythms of his Native characters. In [One Good Story, That One] a collection that includes several narratives built upon oral storytelling techniques, the convincing use of dialect and specific vernacular is a major achievement.
The title story in One Good Story, That One, for example, deserves several readings, preferably aloud, to hear King's flawless use of voice and, equally important, to understand the essentially circular or non-linear structure of the telling.
Chronology also follows a pattern peculiar to Native art. The storyteller here does not move in a straight line but starts, shifts, slides off at a tangent, and incorporates anachronistic details as he recounts a parodic version of the Garden of Eden story.
Recited for the benefit of white cultural anthropologists, who remain shadowy stick-figures, "One Good Story, That One" may well be pulling their and the reader's leg. "Those ones like old stories, says my friend, maybe how the world was put together. Good Indian story like that, Napiao say."
"Magpies" is a...
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SOURCE: An interview in paragraph, Vol. 16, No. 1, Summer, 1994, pp. 2-6.
[In the following interview, originally conducted in November 1993, King discusses various aspects of his writing and his Canadian, American, and Native identities.]
[Canton]: One of the themes that surfaces over and over again in your fiction is the question of identity: "What does it mean to be Indian? What does it mean to be Canadian?" Why do you think you keep coming back to those questions?
[King]: It's not a question that concerns me all that much personally, but it is an important question in my fiction. Because it's question that other people always ask. Readers demand an answer to it, and it's part of that demand for authenticity within the world in which we live. It's the question that Native people have to put up with. And it's a whip that we get beaten with—"Are you a good enough Indian to speak as an Indian?"
For Native people, identity comes from community, and it varies from community to community. I wouldn't define myself as an Indian in the same way that someone living on a reserve would. That whole idea of "Indian" becomes, in part, a construct. It's fluid. We make it up as we go along.
Some people don't see me as an Indian at all. I live in the city; I don't speak a Native language; I've never spent any large amount of time living on a reserve. But...
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SOURCE: A review of One Good Story, That One, in World Literature Today, Vol. 69, No. 1, Winter, 1995, p. 201.
[In the following review of One Good Story, That One, Gorjup lauds King's ability to blend elements of Native and Western storytelling techniques.]
Thomas King is undoubtedly one of Canada's most respected native writers. His fiction—at a time when fiction is often used by militant authors for overt political reasons—is humorous, magical, and unpretentious, refusing to take itself seriously yet always mindful of the reader's intelligence. The voice of his typical narrator is sly, multilayered, and deliberately vague, reflecting the complexity of the subject at hand, which inevitably deals with the tension that arises from civilizational clashes between Natives and Europeans. The narrator, like the story he tells, is "unreliable": he continually reinvents the world and himself. He assumes the characteristics of the coyote, a popular trickster spirit of native folklore.
King's new prose collection, One Good Story, That One, provides an excellent sampling of his remarkable talent, which draws extensively on his ability to blend Western literary conventions and native oral tradition. The result is an exquisitely crafted, authentically grounded, and very funny collection. The title story ["One Good Story, That One"] lures the reader into the magic of an...
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Compton, Valerie. Review of Green Grass, Running Water, by Thomas King. Quill & Quire 59, No. 3 (March 1993): 46.
Favorable assessment of Green Grass, Running Water in which Compton lauds King's revisionist approach to history and incorporation of Native oral traditions.
Davenport, Gary. "Fiction and the Furniture of Consciousness." The Sewanee Review C, No. 2 (Spring 1992): 323-30.
Applauds King's use of comedy and evocation of place in Medicine River.
Howells, Coral Ann. "Imagining Native." Canadian Literature, Nos. 124-25 (Spring-Summer 1990): 307-08.
Positive review of The Native in Literature. Howells offers analyses of several of the pieces in this collection, noting: "The essays engage issues of the representation of the Native (Indians, Inuit, Australian Aborigines) in colonial and post-colonial discourse, the majority of them exploring images of natives and native cultures encoded in white writing (from explorers' narratives to post-modernist fiction) although several focus on native storytelling traditions and one on contemporary Inuit literature."
Meredith, Howard. Review of The Native in Literature, by Thomas King, Cheryl Calver, and...
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