Thomas King

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Thomas King

Thomas King (born April 24, 1943 in Sacramento , California , USA) is a Native American author. If he was also born in the USA , he is primarily considered a Canadian author, since he has lived in Canada for many years and, according to his own admission, feels more connected to his adopted country than to the USA; he considers the border between the USA and Canada to be drawn arbitrarily. He has both nationalities. He is partly Cherokee , partly of Greek, partly of German descent.

Life and work

Thomas King holds a Ph. D. in English literature and has taught at various universities for years. For many years he was Professor of Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge ( Alberta ). He currently teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literature at the University of Guelph , Ontario .

In addition to his career as a university professor and writer, he was involved in the radio show Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour from 1997 to 2000 . The show took place in a fictional café in the fictional town of Blossom, Alberta. Thomas King and his two comrades-in-arms Edna Rain (as Gracie) and Floyd Favel Starr (as Jasper) offered a mixture of humorous comments and serious criticism of the way the State of Canada dealt with the Indian inhabitants .

Under the pseudonym Hartley Goodweather , the crime thriller DreadfulWater Shows Up was published in 2003 . Another thriller starring Thumps DreadfulWater was released in 2006 under the title The Red Power Murders .
Also in 2003, as part of the Massey Lectures , he held a lecture series in five different Canadian cities under the title The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative .

King's nonfiction book The Inconvenient Indian (2013) won the 2014 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize. For his novel The Back of the Turtle , published in 2014, he received the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.


  • Medicine River. Novel. 1990
    • Transl. Cornelia Panzacchi: Medicine River. A1 Verlag , 2008
    • Medicine River. Script . 1993
  • A Coyote Columbus Story. Children's book. 1992
  • Green grass, running water. Novel. 1993
    • Translator Cornelia Panzacchi: When Coyote is dancing. A1 Verlag, 2003
  • One Good Story, That One. Short stories
  • Truth & Bright Water. Novel. 1999
  • DreadfulWater Shows Up. Detective novel. 2003
    • Translated by Monika Blaich, Klaus Kamberger: DreadfulWater is showing up. Unionsverlag, Zurich 2005
  • A Short History of Indians in Canada. Short stories. 2005
  • The Red Power Murders. Detective novel. 2006
  • Coyote Solstice Tale. 2009
  • A Short History of Indians in Canada: Stories. 2013
  • The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. 2013; new illustr. Edition 2017
  • The Back of the Turtle. 2014


  • 2006 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award for A Short History of Indians in Canada
  • 2014 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for The Inconvenient Indian
  • 2014 RBC Taylor Prize for The Inconvenient Indian
  • 2014 Governor General's Award for Fiction for The Back of the Turtle
  • 2015 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic for The Back of the Turtle.
  • 2016 Literary Review of Canada: One of Canada's 25 Most Influential Books in the Past 25 Years, for The Inconvenient Indian


  • Andrew Wiget (Ed.): Dictionary of Native American Literature. 1994, pp. 459-461
  • Jennifer Andrews: Border Trickery and Dog Bones: A Conversation with Thomas King. In: Studies in Canadian Literature. 24.2, 1999, pp. 161-185
  • Arnold Davidson et al. a .: Border Crossings. Thomas King's Cultural Inversions. 2003
  • Eva Gruber: Thomas King: Work and Impact. Camden House, NY 2012 (European Studies in North American Literature and Culture)
  • Elisabeth Mårald: The Young Generation's Images of Canada in Novels by Carol Shields , Thomas King, and Eva Hoffman, in Gunilla Florby, Mark Shackleton, Katri Suhonen eds., Canada: Images of a post / national Society. Peter Lang, Bern 2009, ISBN 9789052014852 Series: Études canadiennes - Canadian studies
  • Markus M. Müller: "All this water imagery must mean something". On the fluctuating state of nations in Suzette Mayr's "The Widows" and Thomas King's "Green Grass, Running Water", in ibid.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas King wins $ 25K RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction. on:, accessed August 13, 2015.
  2. ^ Mark Medley: Thomas King wins Governor General's award for fiction., accessed August 13, 2015.
  3. 2015 Sunburst Awards Winners. In: Locus Online . Retrieved October 5, 2015 .
  4. ↑ on this Wolfgang Hochbruck: Overcoming Borders in Native American and Canadian First Nations Short Stories: Simon Ortiz '"Howbah Indians" and Thomas King's "Borders". In Michael Basseler, Ansgar Nünning ed .: A history of the American short story. Genres, developments, model interpretations. WTV, Trier 2011, pp. 379-395