Book for 2020-2021: The Truth about Stories

the truth about stories novel coverA Native Narrative by Thomas King
Winner Trillium Book Award, 2004

“Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous.” In The Truth About Stories, Native novelist and scholar Thomas King explores how stories shape who we are and how we understand and interact with other people. From creation stories to personal experiences, historical anecdotes to social injustices, racist propaganda to works of contemporary Native literature, King probes Native culture’s deep ties to storytelling.

With wry humor, King deftly weaves events from his own life as a child in California, an academic in Canada, and a Native North American with a wide-ranging discussion of stories told by and about Indians. So many stories have been told about Indians, King comments, that “there is no reason for the Indian to be real. The Indian simply has to exist in our imaginations.”

That imaginative Indian that North Americans hold dear has been challenged by Native writers—N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louis Owens, Robert Alexie, and others—who provide alternative narratives of the Native experience that question a past, create a present, and imagine a future. King reminds the reader, Native and non-Native, that storytelling carries with it social and moral responsibilities. “Don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”

“Trust a novelist and English professor to get to the heart of how stories and storytelling shape our perceptions. This is a wonderful study of the power of words.”—Booklist

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What is Community Book Connection?

The Community Book Connection (CBC) is a college-wide, interdisciplinary reading initiative dedicated to promoting a culture of dialogue, discussion, and debate at CCBC. We are committed to fostering student engagement and student success by developing stimulating and challenging classroom opportunities and co-curricular programs.

Each year we democratically select a book that we recommend to the college community. We encourage faculty and staff from many different disciplines and program areas to adopt the book for use in their courses and initiatives; we offer workshops, trainings and grant-funded opportunities to help faculty develop as educators.

To further enrich our community learning experience, members of the CBC community organize an exciting array of co-curricular activities centering on the themes of the book. In conjunction with internal and external partners, the Community Book Connection sponsors keynote lectures, panel discussions, debates, poetry readings, field trips, workshops, student presentations, theatre performances, dance and musical performances, art exhibits, fundraisers, service learning initiatives, and other types of programs.

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