Border Crossings: Thomas King's Cultural Inversions

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Thomas King is the first Native writer to generate widespread interest in both Canada and the United States. He has been nominated twice for Governor General's Awards, and his first novel, Medicine River, has been transformed into a CBC movie. His books have been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The Globe and Mail, and People magazine. King is also the author of the serialized radio series The Dead Dog Café and is an accomplished photographer. Border Crossings is the first full-length study to explore King's art.

Davidson, Walton, and Andrews employ a framework of postcolonial and border studies theory to examine the concepts of nation, race, and sexuality in King's work. They examine how King's art routinely explores cross-cultural dynamics, including Native rights and race relations, American and Canadian cultural interaction, and the artistic traditions of Europe and North America. The authors argue that, by situating these concepts within a comic framework, King avoids the polemics that often surface in cultural critiques. His writing engages, entertains, and educates. This provocative analysis of King's art reads across cultures and between borders, and makes an important contribution to the study of Native writing, Canadian and American literature, border studies, and humour studies.


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Comic Contexts
Comic Inversions
Genre Crossings
Comedy Politics and Audio and Visual Media
Humouring Race and Nationality
The Comic Dimensions of Gender Race and Nation Kings Contestatory Narratives
Comic Intertextualities
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Page 17 - locality' of national culture is neither unified nor unitary in relation to itself, nor must it be seen simply as 'other' in relation to what is outside or beyond it. The boundary is Janus-faced and the problem of outside/inside must always itself be a process of hybridity, incorporating new 'people...
Page 26 - Unlike historical narratives that begin with the totality of human existence and then locate specific actions and events within that totality, countermemory starts with the particular and the specific and then builds outward toward a total story. Counter-memory looks to the past for the hidden histories excluded from dominant narratives. But unlike myths that seek to detach events and actions from the fabric of any larger history, counter-memory forces revision of existing histories by supplying...
Page 25 - The power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism, and constitutes one of the main connections between them" (Culture and Imperialism, xii-xiii).

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About the author (2003)

The late Arnold E. Davidson was a Research Professor of Canadian Studies at Duke University. Priscilla L. Walton is a Professor in the Department of English at Carleton University. Jennifer Andrews is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Brunswick.

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