Junie by Chelene Knight
A novel about a young girl living in 1930s Hogan's Alley, a Black immigrant community in Vancouver
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. (From Book*hug Press)
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Chelene Knight is a writer and poet from Vancouver. She is the author of Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, which won the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her work has appeared in literary magazines in Canada and the U.S. and she has been a judge for literary awards, including the B.C. Book Prizes.