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From The University of Minnesota Press
The Truth About Stories
A Native Narrative
By Thomas King
184 pp. / 5 x 8 / 2005 / Indigenous Americas Series
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"Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous." In The Truth About Stories, Native novelist and scholar Thomas King explores how stories shape who we are and how we

"As King steadily winds the stories of his narrative, one begins to nod along, relishing the repetition of the story of the earth that begins each chapter and the gentle yet empowering directive at the close. "
The American Indian Quarterly

"Trust a novelist and English professor to get to the heart of how stories and storytelling shape our perceptions. This is a wonderful study of the power of words."

"What is revealed in the is graceful, even seductive book of essays about storytelling by the esteemed Cherokee novelist, radio personality, university professor, and Canadian emigre is that what is as important as the stories we tell about the world are the ways in which we interpret those stories."
World Literature in Review
understand and interact with other people. From creation stories to personal experiences, historical anecdotes to social injustices, racist propaganda to works of contemporary Native literature, King probes Native culture's deep ties to storytelling.

With wry humor, King deftly weaves events from his own life as a child in California, an academic in Canada, and a Native North American with a wide-ranging discussion of stories told by and about Indians. So many stories have been told about Indians, King comments, that "there is no reason for the Indian to be real. The Indian simply has to exist in our imaginations."

That imaginative Indian that North Americans hold dear has been challenged by Native writers--N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louis Owens, Robert Alexie, and others--who provide alternative narratives of the Native experience that question a past, create a present, and imagine a future. King reminds the reader, Native and non-Native, that storytelling carries with it social and moral responsibilities. "Don't say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You've heard it now."

About Thomas King

Thomas King is the author of Medicine River; Green Grass, Running Water; Truth and Bright Water; and a collection of short stories, One Good Story, That One. In 2003, he was the first Native North American to deliver Canada's Prestigious Massey Lectures. The Truth About Stories won one of Canada's highest literary honors, the Trillium Award, in the same year. He is professor of English at the University of Guelph.