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A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance

Imagining Multilingualism

Tomson Highway

Canadian Studies, Language and Literature

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Published: February 2015
ISBN: 9781772120417
Pages: 56 Size: 5.25x9

"Fasten your chastity belts, ladies and gentlemen, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride."

From his legendary birth in a snowbank in northwestern Manitoba, through his metamorphosis to citizen-artist of the world, polyglot, playwright, pianist, storyteller, and irreverent disciple of the Trickster, Tomson Highway rides roughshod through the languages and communities that have shaped him. Cree, Dene, Latin, French, English, Spanish, and the universal language of music have opened windows and widened horizons in Highway’s life. Readers who can hang on tight—Highway fans, culture mavens, cunning linguists, and fellow tricksters—will experience the profundity of Highway’s humour, for as he says, "In Cree, you will laugh until you weep."

Tomson Highway enjoys an international career as a playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. He is considered one of this country's foremost Indigenous voices. He is best known for his award-winning plays, The Rez Sisters (1986), Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing (1989), Rose (2000), and Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (2005), as well as his critically-acclaimed novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998). He lives in Gatineau, Quebec.