Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 16
- Grade: 11
Jason Pierce, a 31 year old Canadian half-Native man, is packing up his urban apartment to leave it all behind for his romanticized vision of a return to life on the reserve where he grew up. As he’s leaving, he is paid an unexpected visit by a 34 year old American man, Harry Deiter, who awkwardly introduces himself as Jason’s half-brother. What Harry wants from Jason is bizarre: to be compatibility-tested for a possible kidney donation to their dying non-Native father, a man Jason has no memory of ever meeting and who, after a brief and secret affair, abandoned Jason’s mother when he was two months old.
Both Jason and Harry are about to have their most fundamental and sustaining beliefs shaken to the core by their respective relationships to the biological father they inadvertently share. Harry, the naïve historical positivist, buoyed up by a lifetime of relative privilege as a member of the dominant imperial culture, encounters in Jason the anger and bitter resistance of the exploited and abandoned colonial, in terms of both Jason’s Native and his Canadian heritage and identity.
Embroiled in the irreconcilable absurdity of their dilemma, Harry is forced to acknowledge that the father he has loved and respected all his life has concealed from his American family his capacity for an absent, heartless cruelty. Jason, on the other hand, must wrestle with the possibility that the man who so thoughtlessly exploited and abandoned his Canadian Native mother and their son may in fact have the capacity to be a loving and present husband and father.
This play raises powerful questions that transcend issues of culture, morality and history?they cut to the ethical quick of what it means to be human in a chaotic world stripped of the comfortable security of identity politics.
About the author
Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian NEWSpapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed REDSKINS, TRICKSTERS AND PUPPY STEW, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.
- Short-listed, Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama
In a World Created by a Drunken GodIn this play, Jason Pierce packs up his belongings in Toronto to move back to the reserve where he grew up. He is interrupted by an American man, Harry Dieter, claiming to be his half-brother. Harry’s father is in need of a kidney transplant and Harry has come to convince Jason to be tested. Harry is wrestling with the knowledge that his father had an affair that produced a child thirty-two years ago, while Jason is trying to re-imagine a father who is not the uncaring man he has always thought, but a loving family fan.
Taylor has won numerous awards including the British Columbia Millennium Award 2000 for Furious Adventures of a Blue-eyed Ojibway and Outstanding Achievement in Literary Works 2008 First Americans in the Arts, for Me Funny. In a World Created by a Drunken God was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award in 2006.
Caution: Use of profanity.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.
Other titles by Drew Hayden Taylor
Indigenous Views on the Future
Richard Wagamese Selected
What Comes from Spirit
Motorcycles & Sweetgrass
Penguin Modern Classics Edition
Chasing Painted Horses
Sir John A.
Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion
Take Us to Your Chief
And Other Stories