In her first visit to City of Asylum, Jessica Johns celebrates the release of her debut novel, Bad Cree. A foreboding and mysterious work of fiction, Bad Cree depicts the life of Mackenzie, a young Cree woman haunted by the death of her sister. Stalked in dreams that leak into her waking hours by a murder of crows, Mackenzie soon realizes she has no choice but to face her past and return to the family she left behind. Far from a warm and peaceful homecoming, the nightmares (and the danger) only seem to intensify upon her return. As she searches for the truth through layers of fear and grief, Mackenzie is forced to reckon with a legacy of violence on her family, her community, and the land they call home. As much a tale of horror as it is of defiant hope, Jessica Johns’ Bad Cree is a debut poised to make any reader’s heart pound. As such, it is one of those rare books capable of making us feel truly alive.
Curator Notes: “Bad Cree is one of my favorite debut novels I’ve read in the past few years. Jessica Johns writes about grief and generational trauma in a way that is heartbreaking and gripping. This is an author I can’t wait to read more of, and I look forward to welcoming her to City of Asylum.” —Kelsey Ford, Director of Programs at City of Asylum
This reading will be followed by a moderated conversation, an audience Q&A, and a book signing. You can purchase your own copy of Jessica’s book, Bad Cree, at City of Asylum Bookstore.
About the Author:
Jessica Johns (she/her) is a nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory. She is the managing editor for Room magazine and a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series in Vancouver. She is an interdisciplinary artist and award-winning writer who recently released her debut novel, Bad Cree. Her short story “The Bull of the Cromdale” was nominated for a 2019 National Magazine Award in fiction and her debut poetry chapbook, How Not to Spill, won the 2019 BPNichol Chapbook Award. She has been published widely, in magazines such as Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass Buffalo, CV2, SAD Magazine, Red Rising Magazine, The Rusty Toque, Poetry is Dead, Bad Nudes, Grain, Canadian Art, and C Magazine.
About Your Visit:
The in-house restaurant 40 North will be closed, but a cash bar will be available.
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