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?
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.
[A] haunting graphic novel... debut author Spillett and Donovan... present a story of girls growing up with the historical legacy of Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people, particularly women and girls.
Selected for 2020 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers
Engrossing... [this story] remains a tribute to the missing and murdered and a clarion call to everyone else.
Selected as an AIYLA Young Adult Honor Book
Nominated for the Forest of Reading's Red Maple Award