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published: Mar 2019
ISBN:9781553797845
imprint: HighWater Press

Surviving the City

by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

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canada, aboriginal & indigenous, girls & women
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $15.00
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
published: Mar 2019
ISBN:9781553797845
imprint: HighWater Press
Description

Winner of the Indigenous Voices Award, alternate format and an In the Margins Top Fiction Novel for 2020

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut, Surviving the City, is a story about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one. Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

About the Authors
Tasha Spillett-Sumner (she/her/hers) draws her strength from her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to community-led work that centres on land and water defence and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is working on her PhD in Education (University of Saskatchewan) and holds a Vanier Canada Award. 
Author profile page >

Natasha Donovan (she/her/hers) is a self-taught illustrator from Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a degree in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. Before starting out as a freelance artist, she worked in publishing at the University of Victoria. Her sequential work has been published in the Other Side Anthology. Natasha is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Tasha Spillett-Sumner (she/her/hers) draws her strength from both her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is currently working on her PhD in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award. 

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 18
Grade:
7 to 12
Awards
  • , <DIV><P>Nominated for the <I>2020 MYRCA Northern Lights</I> list</P></DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV>Winner of the Indigenous Voices Award, Alternate Format</DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV><P><I>In the Margins </I>Top Fiction Novel for 2020</P></DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV><P>Winner of Manuela Dias Design and Illustration?Awards, Graphic Novel</P></DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV><P>Winner of the Manitoba Indigenous Writer of the Year Award</P></DIV>
  • , <DIV><P>Nominated for the Forest of Reading 2020 Red Maple Fiction program</P></DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV><P>Winner of the Manuela Dias Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel category</P></DIV>
  • Winner, <DIV><P>Co-winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author</P></DIV>
Editorial Reviews

"Centering the strong hearts of Indigenous women and girls and shattering racist assumptions, Surviving the City is a beautiful, uncompromising honour song to those of us that not only survive the urban, but navigate through it with the courage of our Ancestors."  - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost 


In this haunting graphic novel, debut author Spillett and Donovan (The Sockeye Mother) present a story of girls growing up with the historical legacy of Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people, particularly women and girls.

— Publishers Weekly

Tasha Spillett, who is Nehiyaw and Trinidadian, tells the story through the girls' dialogue and text messages – featuring Indigenous words and references to traditional practices – allowing readers to be continually immersed in their world.

Metis artist Natasha Donovan's full-colour illustrations stand out in this field of graphic novels, with pale-blue ghostly figures representing missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, as well as darker, hollow-eyed male figures who symbolize the constant threats to women. In these haunting images, the girls' personal drama plays out within the larger struggle of Canada's Indigenous women.

— Quill & Quire

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