2022 CBC MASSEY LECTURES
Laughing With the Trickster: On Sex, Death, and Accordions.
Trickster is zany, ridiculous – and wise. The mythic figure in many First Nations tales is the ultimate, over-the-top, madcap lunatic. Here to remind us that the reason for existence is to have a blast, and to laugh ourselves silly. Ever the trickster, Tomson Highway brings his signature irreverence to an exploration of five themes central to the human condition: language, creation, sex and gender, humour, and death.
An exhilarating tour through Christian, Classical, and Cree mythologies reveals how they have given form and substance to Western thought, life, and culture. Yet Indigenous mythologies provide unique, timeless solutions to our modern problems. Tomson Highway offers generous personal anecdotes, including ones of his beloved accordion-playing father, and plentiful Trickster stories as guides through crises such as climate change, economic disparity, racial intolerance, and all-out unhappiness. Laughter is medicine. Within the endless circle of life in Indigenous mythologies, the Earth is a garden of joy unlimited. A world we must protect as the birthright of future generations. Laugh with the legendary Tomson Highway as he illuminates a healing, hilarious way forward.
TOMSON HIGHWAY is a Cree author, playwright, and musician. His memoir, Permanent Astonishment, won the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. He also wrote the plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, the bestselling novel Kiss of the Fur Queen, and the books Caribou Song, Dragon Fly Kites, and Fox on the Ice. Tomson Highway is a member of the Barren Lands First Nation and lives in Gatineau, Quebec.
The CBC Massey Lectures is a partnership between CBC, House of Anansi Press and Massey College at the University of Toronto, providing a forum where contemporary thinkers can explore important issues of our time. The 2022 CBC Massey Lectures will tour to five cities for in-person live recording events in September, and the series will be broadcast on CBC Radio and CBC Listen in November.
Tickets will be on sale through the theatre box offices in the first week of August. Visit CBC.ca/ideas or follow @cbcideas on Twitter for more information.
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