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The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative (Massey Lectures) Paperback – 1 Nov 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press (1 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887846963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887846960
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,180,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

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 Canada's highest literary honor, the Trillium Award, in the same year. He is professor of English at the University of Guelph. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 25 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
The simple truth about stories is that they impart who we are. Whether telling tales or reading/listening to what others have to say. King suggests that not only do stories explain us to ourselves and others, there are often deeper implications - sometimes dangerous ones. In this series of essays derived from the CBC's Massey Lecture series, this talented novelist and social commentator brings a fresh view to telling stories - a Native American outlook. This compelling overview is long overdue, and King manages to cover a great deal of territory in six essays. The questions he raises are a combination of long-standing viewpoints along with modern shifts of emphasis.

King starts by contrasting two mythologies - one probably wholly unknown to you and one familiar. The first is the story of the Woman Who Fell From the Sky. Tumbling from the depths of space, "Charm" [for such is her name] arrives on a world completely covered in water. After several attempts, Charm convinces Otter to bring mud from the sea bottom so that there may be land for creatures to walk on. Not all wanted to be on the new land, so the animals divided the world into water creatures and land creatures with the birds able to cope with both. Thus the world was founded on a spirit of cooperation.

The other myth is called "Genesis", the Judeo-Christian version of similar events, but with a very different frame of reference. The humans are restricted by One Rule - break it and you will die. The Rule is broken, of course, and King is at pains to avoid pointing the finger of guilt. The point of this comparison is that the Judeo-Christian myth contains the absolute condition of the One Rule, and the vengeful deity that imposed it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful narrative! 19 April 2013
By Galina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a marvelous book, it shares something really special with the reader, lets you in on the unique perspective of a Native American boy/man, and it also teaches you many things about the history that some might not be very familiar with. I loved it for that, because here we see things not from the mainstream's perspective, not from the perspective of the white man (which is way more common) and that lets us see things that many of us might have not been aware of.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About Stories; Thomas King 7 Mar. 2013
By Conrad E. Heidenreich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting analysis of Indian (North American Native) story telling. Although the theme of an Indian story is fairly constant among narrators, the details of the narration can vary widely among them. Difference are pointed out between Indian story telling and the more structured writing of western literature, which are really the differences between an oral tradition and a written tradition. King is a superb writer with an penchant for irony. Love it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive 19 Dec. 2015
By Paul T. Corrigan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was delightful, engaging, deep, funny, painful, perceptive, really good writing. It's memoir, it's essay, it's story, all mixed together, in King's very distinctive voice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was amazing!! I love the author's style and found ... 29 Mar. 2016
By Alyssa R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was amazing!! I love the author's style and found the book to be very eye opening. I have recommended this book to multiple friends.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hesitate. Buy this book 15 May 2016
By Phishisix - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everybody gets a book for their birthday this year. My three sons will get this book. I've read it 3 times. Enough said
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