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Jonny Appleseed
2018
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Summary

WINNER, Lambda Literary Award; Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

Finalist, Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction; Amazon Canada First Novel Award; Indigenous Voices Award; Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award; Firecracker Award for Fiction

Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

A tour-de-force debut novel about a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man and proud NDN glitter princess who must reckon with his past when he returns home to his reserve.

"You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling debut novel by poet Joshua Whitehead.

Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the "rez"--and his former life--to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The seven days that follow are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's life is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages--and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life.

Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of First Nations life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
Whitehead, an award-winning poet and author of the wildly idiosyncratic collection full-metal indigiqueer (2017), is a member of the Oji-Cree, an indigenous group native to Manitoba, Canada, and identifies as Two-Spirit, a term used by some North American tribes for gender-nonbinary folks. From the opening line of his debut novel (I figured out I was gay when I was eight.) to the refreshingly candid depictions of online sex chats to unflinching portrayals of poverty and reservation life, Whitehead's groundbreaking talerevels in twenty-first-century, queer, Native culture. The titular Jonny Appleseed struggles to pay the bills by performing as a cybersex worker, transforming into innumerable fantasy characters for paying clients, even self-consciously fetishizing himself as Poqasquaw and Chief Wansom Tail. With only seven days until he returns home for his stepfather's funeral, Appleseed spends a pyretic week attempting to reconcile the competing factions of his life: sex, friends, work, sex, family, identity, sex. Throughout, memories of his kokum (grandmother) intrude upon the chaos, and these unexpected moments of remembrance prove most striking. A radically original new voice.--Báez, Diego Copyright 2010 Booklist
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