Kiss of the Fur Queen

A book review
by Chris Hibbard

Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway

This was a really interesting, funny, complicated, not to mention mildly disturbing read that a roommate named Maria recommended while I was writing a paper on the Wendigo one semester. I quite enjoyed it, as the blending of Cree and Western culture showcased the gulf between the two, yet was accessible to both.

Scenes of sexual abuse in residential schools were depicted rather horrifically, but the humour Highway uses balances it out well.

It can not be easy to write a novel incorporating AIDS, sexual abuse, serial killings, homosexuality, Cree language, The Trickster and gender issues, and still stay entertaining all the way through. For this, I applaud Highway’s skill, and look forward to reading more of this work.
I particularly enjoyed the symbolism of the shopping mall and the piano. The former being a cancer that’s killing us all slowly (like AIDS); the latter acting as some sort of escape and release valve. Of course, on a personal level, I hate shopping and I love music, so maybe I made more out of those two images than even Highway intended.


~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

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