When Thomas King was awarded the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Fiction for his novel, The Back of the Turtle, it came only months after being awarded the RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction for his book The Inconvenient Indian. The son of a Cherokee father and Greek mother, Thomas King was born and raised in Sacramento, California. After dropping out of university, King took a number of jobs including being a croupier at a Tahoe casino and a photojournalist in Australia. King made his back to the United States and returned to school and went into teaching at Humboldt State and the University of Utah. In 1980 King took a teaching position at the University of Lethbridge and it was in Alberta where King began to write serious fiction. His first novel Medicine River was made into a film starring Graham Greene and Tom Jackson. His next two books, A Coyote Columbus Story and Green Grass, Running Water were both nominated for the Governor General’s Award. From 1997 -2000 King wrote and starred in the CBC radio comedy drama Dead Dog Café. In the 2008 federal election King was nominated to run for the NDP in the riding of Guelph, but finished fourth. King is professor emeritus at the University of Guelph.
Ken Rockburn spoke to Thomas King in Toronto.
A veteran journalist and broadcaster widely recognized for his irreverent and entertaining interview and presentation style, Ken is an award-winning journalist with almost 40 years of experience on radio and television. He first joined CPAC in 2001 as host of Talk Politics which ran for eight seasons. He returned to CPAC in 2010 to host Rockburn Presents. Prior to joining CPAC, Ken hosted CBC Radio’s All In a Day, CBC TV Ottawa’s Rockburn and Company and was news director at CHEZ-FM in Ottawa.