Jonny Appleseed

Jonny Appleseed

A Novel

Book - 2018
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""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 world 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 Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams."--
Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781551527253
Branch Call Number: WHITE
Characteristics: 223 pages ; 21 cm

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"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. Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages--and a... Read More »


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STPL_JessH Sep 12, 2019

So I read about 30 pages, put it down, then started to read again and could not stop! I mean, I actually stood by the stove stirring the pot with my right hand, holding the book in my left so I could keep reading. Don't worry! It was completely safe.

To call Jonny Appleseed compelling, is an understatement. I was absolutely floored by Whitehead's honesty. The way he writes of the confluence of love and pain is so bold that it is at once complex and stunningly simple. I feel like the book is both a love letter to Jonny's kokum and a memoiresque bildungsroman. I left the book feeling hungry for more. I wasn't at all surprised to hear of Whitehead's love for Eden Robinson's character Jared because I feel like Jared and Jonny would have been fast friends.

I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it for fans of Eden Robinson, Roxane Gay, and Billy-Ray Belcourt.

h
heavenlybooks
Aug 02, 2019

interesting writing- hard to read-depressing

TechLibrarian Nov 26, 2018

I love the review from BPL: "this certainly won't be for everyone . . ." You can say that again! This author does not shy away from taboo topics of sex or drug use. That said, these topics are balanced with tenderness and wisdom and love. It's quite unlike anything I've ever read before, and I wasn't always sure I was going to make it. I'm so very glad that I did stick with it! One review said that it was an example of decolonized love, and I think that's an apt description. Also, the author's note explains that the act of writing was a process in healing. That understanding helped me to love this book even more.

BostonPL_JordanD Sep 21, 2018

This certainly won't be for everyone, but I loved it. It's told in nonlinear fashion, yet the prose is beautifully written with such emotion! It's at once sad, funny, raw, intimate. There is no set plot here, it's just a portion of Jonny's life as he's telling stories of his childhood on the rez, about his family, his friends, growing up, moving out, moving on. He pulls no punches about his two spirit sexuality either, which is front and center, as he tells stories about the men who pay him for sex, on screen and off. So, no, not for everyone. But for me, it was well worth the read.

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