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Green Grass, Running Water author Thomas King on using comedy

The Story


Green Grass, Running Water tells the story of the creation of the world from a native perspective. In this 1993 interview, author Thomas King chats with CBC Midday host Tina Srebotnjak about his method and purpose in writing the story, and his strategy of using comedy to write about serious subjects.

Broadcast Medium: Television
Program: Midday
Broadcast Date: Apr. 7, 1993
Hosts: Kevin Newman, Tina Srebotnjak
Duration: 9:14

Did You know?


• Thomas King was born in Roseville, Calif. on Apr. 24, 1943, to a Greek mother and Cherokee father. He moved to Alberta in 1980, eventually making his way to Ontario, where he taught literature and theatre studies at the University of Guelph.

• His first novel, Medicine River, was published in 1990. It was made into a CBC movie and was a runner-up for the Commonwealth Prize in 1991. King's other novels include Truth and Bright Water (1999), and two published under the pseudonym Hartley GoodWeather - Dreadful Water and The Red Power Murders: A Dreadful Water Mystery. He has also published short story collections and children's books.

• King wrote and acted in a drama series on CBC Radio called The Dead Dog Café (which is a fictional café in Green Grass, Running Water). It debuted in September 1996 and aired until the final episode in November 2000. The program was a satirical look at stereotypes and featured King, Floyd Favel as Jasper Friendly Bear, and Edna Rain as Grace Heavy Hand.

• He delivered the 2003 Massey Lecture, titled The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative.

• His non-fiction work, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (2012) won the 2014 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize. 

• King was a candidate  in Guelph for the New Democratic Party in the federal election of 2008. He lost to the Liberal candidate, Frank Valeriote.

• His novel The Back of the Turtle is expected to be published late in 2014.


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