Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
Winner of the Sunburst Award
Winner of the Copper Cylinder Adult Award
Finalist for the Trillium Book Award
Finalist for the CBC Bookie Awards
Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award
When Gabriel Quinn, a brilliant scientist, abandons his laboratory and returns to Smoke River Reserve, where his mother and sister lived, he finds that almost everyone in the community has disappeared. Even the sea turtles are gone, poisoned by an environmental disaster known as The Ruin.
The fact is, Gabriel was the chief architect of the disaster and he has come to Smoke River to witness the destruction he created and to drown 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 is soon saving others. Who are these people, with their long black hair and almond eyes, who seem to have fallen from the sky?
Showcasing King’s brilliant wit and trademark wordplay, The Back of the Turtle is a funny, smart, sometimes confounding, and altogether unforgettable tale of betrayal, salvation, and the resilience of life.
“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
Paperback, 528 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.