Black History Month Recommendations With Tanya Turton - Dundurn
Feb 23, 2024

Black History Month Recommendations With Tanya Turton

Tanya Turton's debut novel Jade Is a Twisted Green follows the coming of age of Jade Brown, a young Black queer woman on the cusp of turning twenty-five. Her becoming story explores Jamaican Canadian identity, love, passion, chosen family, and rediscovering life’s pleasures after loss.

Here are the books Tanya recommends to read:

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Brown Girl in the Ring provides relevant commentary on the evolution of Toronto and the dystopian future that may await us if we are not intentional with our growth. As a young woman, I read this story with curiosity and appreciation for characters and folklore reflective of the stories my mother told me as I grew up. It’s always a joy seeing Jamaican-Canadian experiences represented in speculative fiction.


What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
What We All Long For is emotional and intricate. Living in Toronto is characterized by the intersecting communities and identities, Brand depicts our interconnectedness while allowing space for the messiness of humanity.


Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
Coffee Will Make You Black is the first Black queer coming-of-age book I read and it changed my life. Not only is the story thick and luscious, but the themes are filled with opportunities for self-reflection. This book was imperative to my self-actualization as a Black queer young person.


Butter Honey Pig Bread by francesca ekwuyasi
Butter Honey Pig Bread is beautifully intergenerational and reminds us that our wounds are not simply our own, but felt by those we share our life with. This story is authentically queer, expanding perspectives of queer identity. I read this book before I moved to Halifax, it served as a welcome.


Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
Frying Plantain is an ode to us girls who have always had to live between worlds. Growing up as a Jamaican-Canadian I have always had to translate and adapt my experiences depending on who was present. This story is for us.