May 30, 2024:

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Junie

Junie Book Cover

Junie

A riveting exploration of the complexity within mother-daughter relationships and the dynamic vitality of Vancouver’s former Hogan’s Alley neighbourhood.

1930s, Hogan’s Alley—a thriving Black and immigrant community located in Vancouver’s East End. Junie is a creative, observant child who moves to the alley with her mother, Maddie: a jazz singer with a growing alcohol dependency. Junie quickly makes meaningful relationships with two mentors and a girl her own age, Estelle, whose resilient and entrepreneurial mother is grappling with white scrutiny and the fact that she never really wanted a child.

As Junie finds adulthood, exploring her artistic talents and burgeoning sexuality, her mother sinks further into the bottle while the thriving neighbourhood—once gushing with potential—begins to change. As her world opens, Junie intuits the opposite for the community she loves.

Told through the fascinating lens of a bright woman in an oft-disquieting world, this book is intimate and urgent—not just an unflinching look at the destruction of a vibrant community, but a celebration of the Black lives within.

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About the author

Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight is the author of the Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and the Toronto Star.

Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Award.

Her poem, “Welwitschia” won the 2020 CV2 Editor’s Choice award. She was shortlisted for PRISM’s 2021 short forms contest.

Chelene’s new novel Junie, is available with Book*hug Press now, and her book on Black self-love and joy is forthcoming with HarperCollins Canada in 2023.

Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine, and the previous festival director for the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver.

She has also worked as a professor of poetry at the University of Toronto. Chelene is now founder of her own literary studio,
Breathing Space Creative through which she’s launched The Forever Writers Club, a membership for writers focused on creative sustainability.

Chelene works as a literary agent with the Transatlantic Agency.

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