Nominated by:

Calgary Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

HarperCollins Canada

The Back of the Turtle

Thomas King    

2016 Longlist

In The Back of the Turtle, Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel’s sister. The reserve is deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population, including Gabriel’s family, and the wildlife. Gabriel, a brilliant scientist working for Domidion, created GreenSweep, and indirectly led to the crisis. Now he has come to see the damage and to kill himself in the sea. But as he prepares to let the water take him, he sees a young girl in the waves. Plunging in, he saves her, and soon is saving others. Who are these people with their long black hair and almond eyes who have fallen from the sky?

A novel filled with King’s trademark wit, wordplay and a thorough knowledge of native myth and story-telling.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. His acclaimed, bestselling fiction includes Medicine RiverTruth and Bright WaterOne Good Story, That One; and A Short History of Indians in Canada. In addition to its many award distinctions, Green Grass, Running Water was named to Quill & Quire’s Best Canadian Fiction of the Century list. A member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of an award from the National Aboriginal Foundation, Thomas King is a professor of English at the University of Guelph, Ontario.

Librarian’s Comments

Engaging, impressive and intricate, Thomas King’s novel accessibly tackles pressing societal issues with a focus on corporate irresponsibility leading to environmental degradation. Filled with brilliant characters, trademark wit, wordplay and a thorough knowledge of native myth and story-telling, this novel is a masterpiece by one of Canada’s most important writers.

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