The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America
Written by Thomas King
Published by Doubleday Canada


 

Histories of North America’s Native Peoples abound, but few are as subversive, entertaining, well-researched, hilarious, enraging, and finally as hopeful as this very personal take on our long relationship with the “inconvenient” Indian. King dissects idealized myths (noble Hiawatha, servile Tonto, the Sixties nature guru) against the tragic backdrop of real Indians abused in mission schools, penned together on reserves, and bludgeoned by vicious or ham-fisted government policies. A sharp, informed eye is cast on Riel, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull, on the dark and tangled stories of Native land claims, on Alcatraz, Will Rogers (a Cherokee), and the maid on Land o’ Lakes butter; on Batoche, on Wounded Knee. In this thoughtful, irascible account, and in characteristically tricksterish mode, King presents a provocative alternative version of Canada’s heritage narrative.

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Thomas King

is a novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, screenwriter, and photographer. He was born in the US, the son of a Greek mother and a Cherokee father. Thomas King worked as an administrator and teacher at Humboldt State University and the University of Utah (PhD 1986) before immigrating to Canada. He accepted a position in Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge and soon began writing serious fiction. Often described as one of the finest contemporary Native America writers, two of King's books have been nominated for Governor General’s Awards. In 2003 King was the first Native Canadian to deliver the Massey Lectures. The author currently teaches English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.