The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative

May 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 17-4: Reforming Our Schools, Native Style, Media Reviews

by Thomas King
University of Minnesota Press (2005) – 172 pages
ISBN 0-8166-4626-0 – $16.47

Review by Holly Ristau

“The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” This is the premise for a collection of thought-provoking essays examining the importance of the oral tradition. Storyteller Thomas King addresses Native cultural concerns and their primal link to storytelling.

Topics include a comparison of the Native and Christian creation stories, what people expect “Indians” to be, Native American Literature, Indians as entertainers, and finally, American “termination” legislation and Canadian “enfranchisement” legislation.            These topics are embedded in stories from King’s life, historical fact, and traditional Native tales. King’s writing style makes this short collection both intriguing and entertaining. It won Canada’s Trillium Award in 2003.

This title is highly recommended for all tribal college collections and literature classes.

Holly Ristau is the librarian for Mahnomen Public Schools and the Mark Warren Memorial Library at the White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen, MN.

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