Guelph Circa 1999 – Thomas King
Thomas King is a writer, artist, and activist, the recipient of the National Aboriginal Award, and a member of the Order of Canada. Born of Cherokee and Greek American heritage, King grew up in “a world of women” that included his mother, aunts, and grandmother. He became a photojournalist before returning to school. Following degrees in American Studies and English, he wrote his doctoral dissertation, titled “Inventing the Indian,” in 1986.
King taught at the universities of Lethbridge and Minnesota before moving to University of Guelph in 1995 to teach Native literatures and creative writing. He retired a Presidential Distinguished Professor and Professor Emeritus in 2012.
Since the 1990s, King has authored two works of non-fiction, five novels, four children’s books, two volumes of short stories, more than 150 episodes and full-length works of radio drama, 19 films, and two plays, among other creative works to come.
King was the first Indigenous person to deliver the internationally renowned Massey lectures in 2003, which he evolved into an award-winning book, The Truth About Stories. His 2012 book-length history, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, won the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize.
Image: Thomas King, photographed at The Bookshelf by Dean Palmer.