The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative Hardcover – Mar 2005
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Trust a novelist and English professor to get to the heart of how stories and storytelling shape our perceptions. Oral stories, King asserts, are public, requiring interaction with an audience. Gathering oral stories into book form compromises the narratives; once set on the page, a story loses its context and voice. And written stories are usually private; no matter how many people read a particular book, each person reads that story as an individual. While King primarily considers narratives by and about Indians, his unusual treatise also includes coverage of a lengthy stay in New Zealand, identity politics, Native American history, and the experience of being the only middle-aged member of an amateur basketball team. Ultimately, King exhorts listeners to accept the responsibility of stories, writing, "Take it. It's yours. Do with it what you will. But 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." This is a wonderful study of the power of words. Rebecca Maksel
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...contemporary, necessary, urgent. And very, very funny. His is humour at its best, deadly serious, the ultimate defence against overwhelming odds. -- The Edmonton Journal
If you like Thomas King already, and you should, this is essential reading -- Anna Bowness, Broken Pencil
King is a master storyteller and master writer...I can only say your life will be different if you read these [stories]. -- Ellen Bielawski, The Edmonton Journal
King's ...Massey Lectures illustrate how native culture's deep ties to storytelling have much to teach others about human understanding -- Winnipeg Free Press
[King's speculations and observations] appear in a witty, engaging, thought-provoking, and discomfiting form. Required reading for all. -- Bill Robertson, Saskatoon Star Phoenix --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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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.Read more ›
Well this is one man's story, and the stories he's heard. It's an imparting of how Thomas King has seen his corner of the Native World. It's a small part of a larger narrative from a man who's spent a life-time thinking about what exactly it means to be Native in the world today.
So, you'll take this story and garner what wisdom you can from it, and perhaps come back to it some day to see if something else can't be seen. It's a story given (relatively) freely.
I can only hope you enjoy and appreciate it as much as I did.
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I never received this book, very disappointed. I would not recommend this seller as they are not reliable. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2011 by KWill
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