Sufferance by Thomas King
Sufferance by Thomas King
CBC Books Best of Canadian Fiction
Globe and Mail Top 100 for 2021
Jeremiah Camp, a.k.a. the Forecaster, can look into the heart of humanity and see the patterns that create opportunities and profits for the rich and powerful. Problem is, Camp has looked one too many times, has seen what he hadn’t expected to see and has come away from the abyss with no hope for himself or for the future.
So Jeremiah does what any intelligent, sensitive person would do. He runs away. Goes into hiding in a small town, at an old residential school on an even smaller Indian reserve with no phone, no Internet, no television. With the windows shut, the door locked, the mailbox removed to discourage any connection with the world, he feels safe at last. Except nobody told the locals that they should leave Jeremiah alone.
And then his past comes calling. Ash Locken, head of the Locken Group, the multinational consortium that Jeremiah has fled, arrives on his doorstep with a simple proposition. She wants our hero to formulate one more forecast, and she’s not about to take no for an answer. Before he left the Locken empire, Jeremiah had put together a list of twelve names, every one a billionaire. The problem is the people on the list are dying at an alarming and unnatural rate. And Ash Locken wants to know why.
A sly and satirical look at the fractures in modern existence, Sufferance is a bold and provocative novel about the social and political consequences of the inequality created by privilege and power—and what we might do about it.
"[D]azzling . . . Sufferance is a powerful reading experience, a combination of genres and narrative approaches so deftly blended the reader is forced off-balance at almost every turn. There are elements of a skilfully handled thriller, and a low-key, almost bucolic community narrative. It is a thoroughly political novel . . . which grows increasingly tense by turns, but with a sly wit and humour throughout. It is a novel of frustration and despair, leavened with an odd, and ultimately redeeming, sense of hope. How King manages not just to juggle all of these elements, but to resolve them in ways that are both entirely unexpected and completely satisfying, is a reminder of why he is one of Canada’s foremost writers. Sufferance is a novel entirely of its time — our time — with the timeless air of greatness.” — Toronto Star
Paperback, 320 pages
THOMAS KING is one of Canada's premier Native public intellectuals. King was the first Aboriginal person to deliver the prestigious Massey Lectures, and is also the bestselling, award-winning author of six novels, two collections of short stories and two nonfiction books. He won the 2014 Governor General's Award for Literature for his most recent novel, The Back of the Turtle. His non-fiction tour de force, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America won the BC National Award for Canadian Non Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize, as well as being a finalist for 2015 CBC Canada Reads. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada. He lives in Guelph, ON.