Book Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Read: December 2017


An illustrated edition of the award-winning, bestselling Canadian classic, featuring over 150 images that add colour and context to this extraordinary work.

“Every Canadian should read [this] book.” –Toronto Star

Since its publication in 2012, The Inconvenient Indian has become an award-winning bestseller and a modern classic. In its pages, Thomas King tells the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Native and Indigenous people in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. This new, provocatively illustrated edition matches essential visuals to the book’s urgent words, and in so doing deepens and expands King’s message. With more than 150 images–from artwork, photographs, advertisements and archival documents to contemporary representations of Native peoples by Native peoples, including some by King himself–this unforgettable volume vividly shows how “Indians” have been seen, understood, propagandized, represented and reinvented in North America.

Here is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger and tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope–an inconvenient but necessary account for all of us seeking to tell a new story, in both words and images, for the future.

My Thoughts

This book has been around for such a long time that I’m surprised I hadn’t read it up until now. I had gotten more into non-fiction last year and saw this book at Costco and picked it up, since it was non-fiction and by a Canadian indigenous author.

What can I even say about this book? If you know nothing about the issues surrounding indigenous people in North America and how they’ve been treated, you have to read this book. It’s an amazingly powerful read and something that every Canadian should be reading. Thomas King packs so much information into this book that it was a slow-going read and hard to take it all in, but it’s a great introduction to Indian and White relations in North America.

Honestly, this book took me over a month to read because each chapter was just so full of information, but King also writes in a way that makes people relate to him. As I read the book, I felt like I knew more about him and his life, as well as everything he has to say about the indigenous people. I also felt like this is a book to be read over and over again just so that the information can be absorbed – if you went through the book trying to mark all the important passages, you’d be highlighting the whole thing!

This book is full of information and yet it really isn’t finalized in the end because how can it be? These issues are still going on today and nothing can erase the past. Still, it’s just a great dialogue to people who know nothing about this history that has spanned 500+ years.

Highly recommended.

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