Thomas King, novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, photographer (b at Roseville, Calif 24 Apr 1943). The son of a Greek mother and a Cherokee father, King failed his first year of university and took a series of jobs that included craps dealer and bank teller.
Thomas King, novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, photographer (b at Roseville, Calif 24 Apr 1943). The son of a Greek mother and a Cherokee father, King failed his first year of university and took a series of jobs that included craps dealer and bank teller. In 1964, he worked his way across the Pacific on a steamer and found employment in New Zealand and Australia as a photographer and photojournalist. Returning to the US in 1967, King attended Chico State U (BA 1970, MA 1972), and later worked as an administrator and teacher at Humboldt State University and the University of Utah (PhD 1986).
King emigrated to Canada in 1980, accepting a position in Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge. It was during this time that he began writing serious fiction. His first novel, Medicine River (1990), received considerable critical praise, and was made into a CBC film.
Often described as one of the finest contemporary native America writers, two of King's books have been nominated for GOVERNOR GENERAL 'S AWARDS: a children's book, A Coyote Columbus Story (1992), and a novel, Green Grass, Running Water (1993). One Good Story, That One (1993) is a collection of ten short stories, including his often anthologized "The One about Coyote Going West." A second children's book, Coyote Sings to the Moon, appeared in 1998, and his novel Truth and Bright Water was published in 1999.
King spent 1993-94 as story editor for Four Directions, a CBC-TV dramatic series by and about native people. He wrote and starred in the very funny Dead Dog Cafe, which aired on CBC Radio from 1997-2000. He has also written a detective novel, Dreadful Water Shows Up (2003) under the pseudonym Hartley GoodWeather.
Critics and reviewers praise Thomas King's funny and poignant portrayal of the challenges facing Native Canadians in the past, and today. His characters are strong in the face of oppression and prejudice, but they are also fallible in endearingly humorous ways.
King has edited both Native Canadian fiction anthologies, such as All My Relations (1990) and First Voices, First Words (2001), and collections of critical essays such as The Native in Literature (1987). In 2003 King was the first Native Canadian to deliver the Massey Lectures. His presentation, titled The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative, was later published by Anansi press.
King currently teaches English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.