Indigiqueer author Joshua Whitehead's 'Jonny Appleseed' wins CBC's Canada Reads

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Indigiqueer author Joshua Whitehead's "Jonny Appleseed" has won CBC's Canada Reads Contest.

The debut novel from Whitehead, an Oji-nehiyaw scholar from Peguis First Nation, follows a two-spirit Indigiqueer young man as he returns home to his reserve to attend his stepfather's funeral.

Mohawk actor and filmmaker Devery Jacobs backed the prevailing title in the public broadcaster's annual battle of the books.

The days-long literary debate sees five high-profile panellists campaign for their favourite book to be named Canada's ultimate must-read.

This year's runner-up was "Butter Honey Pig Bread" by Francesca Ekwuyasi, which was defended by chef and TV host Roger Mooking.

The other titles in contention were: "Two Trees Make a Forest" by Jessica J. Lee, as endorsed by singer-songwriter Scott Helman; "The Midnight Bargain" by C.L. Polk, championed by Olympian and broadcaster Rosey Edeh; and "Hench" by Natalie Zina Walschots, picked by "Kim's Convenience" star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press