Grades 11-12: “You Want Me to Write a What?” – The Literary Essay

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Resources for Grades 11-12: “You Want Me to Write a What?” – The Literary Essay.


The Back Of The Turtle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

This is Thomas King’s first literary novel in fifteen years and follows on the success of the award-winning and bestselling The Inconvenient Indian and his beloved Green Grass, Running Water and Truth and Bright Water, both of which continue to be taught in Canadian schools and universities. Green Grass, Running Water is widely considered a contemporary Canadian classic.

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 local 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?

Filled with brilliant characters, trademark wit, wordplay and a thorough knowledge of native myth and storytelling, this novel is a masterpiece by one of our most important writers.

Reviews
“Gracefully written, this is a fable-like morality tale. With King’s trademark flashes of humour, irony and deadpan delivery, The Back of the Turtle is populated with wounded characters who are trying to heal in the wake of an environmental disaster.” — Toronto Star

“King’s writing is sharp, the characters are well-drawn, and his topic is suitably grave.” — National Post

"King deftly juxtaposes the varieties of Canadian experience, contrasting the shining city with diminishing coastal town, the lives of the uber-wealthy with those of aboriginal Canadians, whose lives seem to count for very little when there is a profit to be made. King uses his trademark blending of traditional aboriginal beliefs and stories with the Western literary canon to create a haunting narrative of life, death and the destruction of nature. Allusions abound, incorporated into the story with King's often absurdist wit, walking a fine line between humor and heartbreak. The result is both an intimate story of grief in the face of loved ones lost and a searing criticism of current apathy toward looming environmental disasters." - Publisher's Weekly

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 English First Peoples resource for the unit "You Want Me to Write a What?" - The Literary Essay.

Additional Information
528 pages | 5.31" x 8.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.99

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