I stumbled upon JONNY APPLESEED by Joshua Whitehead when I was looking for a new book club in San Francisco. And let me tell you, I am so happy I read this unique, important, and beautiful book!
Jonny Appleseed is a young, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer Native American who lives off the reservation but must return to his home and community for his step-dad’s funeral. The story weaves the present with the past as Jonny raises the money through online sex work to fund his trip home and we hear his stories about growing up on the reservation and his experiences with being a queer Native American.
First it must be said that this book is stunningly written. The prose is poetic yet natural. The characters are funny and heartbreaking and complex in a very real way. Jonny’s relationship to his grandmother is very special and beautifully depicted. There is less of a straightforward, chronological plot to the book; it reads more like a collection of memories and personal stories, which I greatly appreciated. I felt like the story was a powerful meditation on important issues like home, tradition, and sexuality all through the unique lens of queer, Native American experience.
JONNY APPLESEED is an excellent example of an important diverse authors, characters, and stories are to queer literature. Especially own voice queer stories! We need more books like JONNY APPLESEED and more authors like Joshua Whitehead!!!
- Title: Jonny Appleseed
- Author: Joshua Whitehead
- Published: May 15, 2018 (Arsenal Pulp Press)
- Genre: LGBT, queer, fiction
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * *