From writer and musician Rae Spoon: a rollicking yet introspective young adult adventure about screwing up, finding yourself, and forging a new life on your own.
At age nineteen in the year 2000, the queer narrator of Green Glass Ghosts steps off a bus on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, a city where the faceless condo towers of the wealthy loom over the streets to of the east side where folks are just trying to get by, against the deceptively beautiful backdrop of snow-capped mountains and sparkling ocean.
Armed with only their guitar and their voice, our hopeful hero arrives on the West Coast at the beginning of the new millennium and on the cusp of adulthood, fleeing a traumatic childhood in an unsafe family plagued by religious extremism, mental health crises, and abuse in a conservative city not known for accepting difference. They're eager to build a better life among like-minded folks, and before they know it, they've got a job, an apartment, openly non-binary friends, and a new queer love, dancing, busking, and making out in bars, parks, art spaces, and apartments. But their search for belonging and stability is disrupted by excessive drinking, jealousy, and painful memories of the past, distracting the protagonist from their ultimate goal of playing live music and spurring them to an emotional crisis. If they can't learn to care for themselves, how will they ever find true connection and community?
The haunting illustrations by Gem Hall conjure the moody, misty urban landscape and represent a deep collaboration with the author based on their shared experience of seeking safety, authenticity, and acceptance on the West Coast. Green Glass Ghosts is an evocation of that delicate, aching moment between youth and adulthood when we are trying, and often failing, to become the person we dream ourselves to be.
This book is wild and familiar, not unlike young queer lust, love, or existence. It perfectly encapsulates the balances between being wide-eyed and resourceful, running away and running to. Spoon and Hall clearly know that survival is a messy landscape, with as many hands pulling you down as there are lifting you up. Reading this book is being lifted up, a firm reminder of still being here. -Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, editor (THIS Magazine), writer (Whatever, Iceberg, Somewhere to Run From, Emergency Contact)
Glass Ghosts is hopeful and raw in its honest depiction of how survivors experience and interface through their filters, the cautionary tale of 'medicine' becoming poison, how we sometimes need to be taught self-care, patiently by loving Others, those surrogate strangers, gently moving us toward trust, as we imperfectly seek stability on an ever-shifting coastline. -Imogen Di Sapia, associate member, European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC); writer/textile artist (The Selkie: Weaving and the Wild Feminine)
Lonely and spectral and hopeful. A book about being young and queer. About trying to find community, create a home, and stay in the world despite old trauma and new harms in the places you seek safety. A tether for when you feel yourself floating away. -Jaime Burnet, musician (Sockfoot), writer (Crocuses Hatch from Snow)