First Fiction Friday: Jade Is a Twisted Green

Our top choice for a read heading into this weekend? Debut novelist Tanya Turton’s Jade Is a Twisted Green (Dundurn Press), a sparkling coming-of-age novel about simultaneously navigating loss and Black, queer, and immigrant identity.


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Jade Is a Twisted Green (Dundurn Press, 2022)Who: Tanya Turton is a storyteller, educator, and mental health advocate. She fell in love with storytelling when she began to feel displaced in her own world and found creative writing. Hailing from Jamaica, Tanya was raised and lives in Toronto. Jade Is a Twisted Green is her debut novel. Why you need to read this now:On the cusp of her 25th birthday, Jade Brown is trying to figure out who she is, against the backdrop of an incomprehensible loss. Jade is a first-gen Jamaican woman living in Toronto, and when her twin sister – her pilot light in the world – dies mysteriously, she’s left to grapple with her loss and try and pick up the pieces of herself, besides.Perhaps before Jade herself does, the reader will find that she is hilarious, collegial, determined. Jade moves within the various elements of her identity – queerness, Blackness, diaspora, grief – in an effort to grow into her most authentic self, in a Toronto at its most vibrant.Debut author Tanya Turton is a mental health advocate and founder of Adornment Stories, a grassroots non-profit for Black women and femmes navigating mental health challenges to use beauty and digital storytelling to overcome them; and her character Jade too tackles her mental health issues head-on in this book.Overall, Jade Is a Twisted Green is a fearless first novel that Junauda Petrus-Nasah calls “bold, meaningful and moving.”X + YTake the “beautifully observed, sensory descriptions of Toronto” from Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (that’s according to Danila Botha) and add the painful journey of the self undertaken by a plucky heroine in Candice Carty-Williams’s Queenie, and you have Jade Is a Twisted Green.

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