The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America

by Thomas King
  • critically-acclaimed
  • history-politics-current-affairs
  • indigenous

Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King's critical and personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian" in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process,

King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.

This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope--a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.


Thomas King, author

Thomas King is one of Canada’s premier Native public intellectuals. Born and raised in California, King is the best-selling author of several books, including the novels The Back of the Turtle, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction; Medicine River, described as “precise and elegant” by The New York Times; Green Grass, Running Water, which Newsweek called “a first class work of art”; and Truth and Bright Water, which received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Winner of a Western American Literary Association Lifetime Achievement Award, King was the first Aboriginal person to deliver the prestigious Massey Lectures. A member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of an award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, King taught at the University of Lethbridge and was chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota before moving to the University of Guelph.


  • Essential… Wondrous. - Margaret Atwood
  • King’s tone is breezy and light, full of funny stories and self-deprecating jokes, but just below that geniality lies a deep reservoir of bitterness over the treatment of Indians in Canada and the United States that continues on to this day. - LA Times Review of Books Link to review
  • Thomas King is beyond being a great writer and storyteller, a lauded academic and educator. He is a towering intellectual… wise, hilarious, incorrigible, with a keen eye for the inconsistencies that make us and our society flawed, enigmatic, but ultimately powerful symbols of freedom. A powerful, important book. - The Globe and Mail Link to review


  • Finalist, 2013 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
  • Winner, 2013 Libris Award for Best Non-Fiction
  • Winner, BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
  • Winner, RBC Taylor Prize

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Westwood Creative Artists



rights sold: Audio (Novel Audio), Canada (Doubleday), Film (90th Parallel), French (Canada: Boréal), US (University of Minnesota Press)

rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 320

publication date: 10/17/2012

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book