Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
March 13, 2002
Prof's novel popular in Can Lit courses
A novel by University of Guelph professor Thomas King, School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English, has the distinction of being taught in more undergraduate Canadian literature courses across the country than any other work.
Green Grass, Running Water is taught in 15 Can lit courses, according to a survey by Quill & Quire magazine. The magazine examined reading lists for the 2000/2001 academic year from 29 Canadian universities. In addition, King ranked fourth behind Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Laurence in total number of works taught in Can lit courses. A total of 24 Can lit courses featured works by King, including his novels Medicine River, Truth & Bright Water and One Good Story, That One.
Green Grass, Running Water is a story about five Blackfoot Indians leading seemingly separate lives who discover their paths are connected in unexpected ways. It and other King novels are taught in numerous courses at Guelph in addition to Canadian literature surveys. They are also studied in history, religion, geography, anthropology and native studies courses.
English professor Ajay Heble, one of King's colleagues, has taught Green Grass, Running Water in a fourth-year Canadian literature seminar and a graduate course. Heble says the novel is popular for "its use of satire and its innovative engagement with questions of history. It treats complex cultural issues with humour. I think students really appreciate that."
A 1999 Quill & Quire survey ranked Green Grass, Running Water 15th in the top 40 "most interesting, important and influential" books published in the 20th century.
Contact: Prof. Thomas King