At a ceremony today in downtown Toronto, WCA author Thomas King was named the winner of The 2014 RBC Taylor Prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, published by Doubleday Canada.
Awarded annually in celebration of Canadian non-fiction, the prize celebrates a book that “best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.”
The jury citation follows:
“Histories of North America’s Native Peoples abound, but few are as subversive, entertaining, well-researched, hilarious, enraging, and finally as hopeful as this very personal take on our long relationship with the “inconvenient” Indian. King dissects idealized myths (noble Hiawatha, servile Tonto, the Sixties nature guru) against the tragic backdrop of real Indians abused in mission schools, penned together on reserves, and bludgeoned by vicious or ham-fisted government policies. A sharp, informed eye is cast on Riel, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull, on the dark and tangled stories of Native land claims, on Alcatraz, Will Rogers (a Cherokee), and the maid on Land o’ Lakes butter; on Batoche, on Wounded Knee. In this thoughtful, irascible account, and in characteristically tricksterish mode, King presents a provocative alternative version of Canada’s heritage narrative.”
Last month, The Inconvenient Indian won the $40,000 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
Please join us in celebrating this very special book and author.
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Thomas King is represented by Jackie Kaiser.