The feat of Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (University Of Minnesota Press, 2013) is that while examining the atrocious historical and present-day treatment of Native people by non-Native people in North America, the author still manages to engage readers by leaning heavily on the self-reflexive voice and humor that have been hallmarks of his novels and short stories. This is an important strategy because so much of what King needs to present—the massacres, the residential schools, the systemic and systematic exploitation and disenfranchisement of Native Americans and First Nations people—is harrowing and obscene and full of sorrow. But King’s knack for humor and pathos engages throughout and cultivates the kind of attention necessary to bring us face to face with North America’s awful legacy.
Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Published by the University Of Minnesota Press; First American Edition edition (September 5, 2013). 272 pages.