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
Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. His critically acclaimed, bestselling fiction includes Medicine River, Green Grass, Running Water, Truth and Bright Water, A Short History of Indians in Canada, and most recently The Back of the Turtle, which won the 2014 Governor General’s Award. The Inconvenient Indian, a work of non-fiction, won several national prizes and was described by Joseph Boyden as “destined to become a classic of historical narrative.” A member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of an award from the National Aboriginal Foundation, Thomas King has taught at the University of Lethbridge and was Chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota before moving to the University of Guelph where he taught Indigenous Literature and Creative Writing.