Left Bank Books Presents
Join us Jan. 10 @ 6pm
for a Virtual Launch Event
to hear Jessica Johns discuss
her terrifying and beautiful Indigenous horror novel.
Johns will be in conversation with acclaimed author
Order copies of Bad Cree
from Left Bank Books to support authors & independent bookstores!
Watch Party for event hosted by Reader Beware Book Club
*Masks required for Watch Party*
In this gripping, horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman's dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.
When Mackenzie wakes up with a severed crow's head in her hands, she panics. Only moments earlier she had been fending off masses of birds in a snow-covered forest. In bed, when she blinks, the head disappears.
Night after night, Mackenzie's dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina's untimely death: a weekend at the family's lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too--a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina--Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone.
Traveling north to her rural hometown in Alberta, she finds her family still steeped in the same grief that she ran away to Vancouver to escape. They welcome her back, but their shaky reunion only seems to intensify her dreams--and make them more dangerous.
What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina's death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside?
Jessica Johns is a Nehiyaw aunty and member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. She is an interdisciplinary artist and winner of the 2020 Writers' Trust Journey Prize.
Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer and editor living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for The Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She’s had numerous essays nominated for National Magazine Awards, winning Gold in 2017 and an honourable mention in 2020. Her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018 (by Roxane Gay), Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30. Alicia was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, was a national bestseller in Canada. It was also nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, and won the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award.
Featured on CrimeReads' "Unprecedented Era of Native American Noir"
" Bad Cree deftly explores the permeable boundaries of dreams, reality, and culture, as well as complex family dynamics and relationships. A compelling novel that is a mystery and a horror story about grief, but one with defiant hope in its beating heart." -- Paul Tremblay, author A Head Full of Ghosts and The Pallbearers Club
" Bad Cree is a mesmerizing, enticing read. Jessica Johns writes the world in all its messiness and terror, while simultaneously remembering to center its tender beating heart. A book about family and foundations, but also about how the secrets we keep can knock the floor out from under us. A captivating novel from an exciting new author." --Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things
"Both tactile and dreamy, terrifying and beautiful, Bad Cree will wrap you up and pull you along for the journey -once it starts, there's no backing out, no pause, no stall. I have been waiting years for Jessica Johns's books - I say books because there had better be more! She did not disappoint." -- Cherie Dimaline, author of The Marrow Thieves
" Bad Cree is a masterwork of creeping tension. Wry, moody and subversive, Johns explores the power of connections, both the harm and the healing, with characters rich and warm, tangled in each other, to the land and to the supernatural. Couldn't put it down." -- Eden Robinson, author of the Trickster Trilogy
"In evocative yet understated prose, Jessica Johns weaves a captivating tale of love, loss, the violence of greed and the healing power of family. In Bad Cree, Johns delivers a suspenseful and thought-provoking page turner you won't want to put down." -- Michelle Good, author of Five Little Indians
"With creeps that are ever-creepy and love flowing like beer at a bush party, Bad Cree is a book about the power of dreams, home and family. It reads like a tribute to the ones who came before us Lee Maracle, Jeanette Armstrong, Eden Robinson. This book is tough iskwew in flannel shirts with long unbrushed hair, just looking good. It's tea rings on Formica tables, cigarette smoke wafting through windows, and an eerie magical realism that only belongs to the bush. Full of Auntie power, Jessica Johns is really coming into her own immense storytelling ways." -- Katherena Vermette, author of The Break