Books·Canadian

Green Grass, Running Water

Thomas King's novel explores how Indigenous traditions and the modern world come together.

Thomas King

The fictional small town of Blossom is the setting for Green Grass, Running Water, Thomas King's high-spirited romp of a novel featuring the trickster Coyote, four time-travelling Indian elders who have escaped from a mental institution, and five Blackfoot Indians whose lives intersect in surprising ways. At its heart, this sophisticated narrative is an exploration of how Indigenous traditions and the modern world come together, and it's as witty as it is wise.

Green Grass, Running Water was a Canada Reads 2004 finalist. It was defended by Glen Murray.

From the book

WHERE DID ALL THE WATER COME FROM? says that GOD.

"I'll bet you'd like a little dry land," says Coyote.

What happened to my earth without form? says that GOD.

"I know I sure would," says Coyote.

What happened to my void? says that GOD. Where's my darkness?

"Hmmmm," says Coyote. "Maybe I better apologize now."

"You can apologize later," I says. "Pay attention."

Okay. There are two worlds, you know. One world is a Sky World. One world is a Water world.

"Where do the Coyotes live?" says Coyote.

"Forget the Coyotes," I says.

That Sky World has all sorts of things. Sky things. They got Sky Moose. They got Sky Bear. They got Sky Elk. Sky Buffalo.

"And Sky Coyotes?" says Coyote.

This is all wrong, says that GOD. Everybody knows there is only one world.

"Listen up," I says. "I only want to do this once."


From Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King ©1993. Published by HarperCollins.

Author interviews

Thomas King has a new novel, Green Grass, Running Water. 9:14