Books

Gord Grisenthwaite recommends A Short History of Indians in Canada by Thomas King

In recognition of Indigenous Book Club Month, every day in June an Indigenous writer recommended a book they love by a First Nations, Métis or Inuit author from Canada.
Gord Grisenthwaite recommends A Short History of Indians in Canada by Thomas King for Indigenous Book Club Month. (Gord Grisenthwaite/HarperCollins)

June was Indigenous Book Club Month. Every day in June, CBC Books published a recommendation from an Indigenous writer for a book by another Indigenous author.

Gord Grisenthwaite recommends A Short History of Indians in Canada by Thomas King.

"As a writer, I owe a debt of gratitude to W.P. Kinsella for inciting me to write in a 'real' Indian voice. I owe a bigger debt to Thomas King for showing me how to write responsibly and intelligently. King's 2005 story collection, A Short History of Indians in Canada, remains important to me as the first 'real' evidence I had that Natives wrote and published in Canada. It is also a stellar example of CanLit.

Syilx storyteller Harry Robinson developed a form of telling stories that preserved them in English, because he noticed that his people had begun losing their language and he did not want the stories lost as well. Thomas King calls Robinson's storytelling style Interfusional, a mix of oral storytelling and traditional narrative writing in English. Interfusional stories tend to demand to be told aloud, or performed.

"A Short History of Indians in Canada" and "Coyote and the Enemy Aliens" exemplify both Interfusional writing and world class satire. Both stories live on inside of me, and each remains among my favourite stories of all time."

Gord Grisenthwaite is a writer and photographer from Lytton First Nation. His award-winning short stories include "The Fine Art of Frying Eggs" and "Mavis Brown."

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