Grace and Gall

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Editor: Janet Witalec
Date: 2003
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 741 words

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[(review date fall-winter 1993) In the following review, Scheick compares and contrasts Green Grass, Running Water with Trevor Ferguson's The True Life Adventures of Sparrow Drinkwater.]

In the beginning there was only water, begins Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water. Human life emerged from a swamp, begins Trevor Ferguson's The True Life Adventures of Sparrow Drinkwater. What is aqua pura in King's narrative is aqua regia in Ferguson's novel. The result is two works as different as day and night.

Green Grass features four timeless natives, at once male and female, who represent mythic forces. If these four escapees from a mental institution seem in their odd way driven by some cosmic purpose, the Canadian Blackfoot family with whom they interact seems adrift in time. This family and its acquaintances are characters in search of a theme, for a life-plot that truly includes them; for as natives, they find themselves playing minor, barely observed parts in another culture's version of reality. Their own story, the life-narrative in which they had major roles, has been lost, at least temporarily. In the scheme of things that version...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100048753