Strength of “aunty love’” debut horror novel is centered on dreams

By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter In writing her debut novel Bad Cree, author Jessica Johns did exactly what her characters did: They threw off the constraints of colonial thinking and embraced their Cree traditions. The short story of the same name which spawned the novel are both centered on the dreams of main character Mackenzie. While the short story is more mystical in nature, the novel turns that mysticism up a notch and launches into a taut fantasy horror. It takes Mackenzie a while to embrace her dreams and understand their importance. But not so for Johns. She had been challenged by her instructor during a creative writing course as she was finishing her master’s degree in fine arts at the University of British Columbia. The instructor told…

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