Juniper Leaves cover

This Debut Novel Seeks to Prove that Queer, Black Narratives are Relatable

Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl, tells the tale of a black and queer teenage girl with a passion for science who discovers that she has magical powers, powers which lead her to becoming the world’s savior. While saving the world, she also explores her attraction to other girls. The book blurb describes it as:


… a fantastical coming-of-age tale of a girl who learns to let go, live a little, and best of all, believe in herself — all before her sixteenth birthday.


The novel’s author, Jaz Joyner, wrote the book to alleviate the shortage of queer black fiction on the literary scene. Joyner has said that the novel provides a “universally relatable” protagonist for anyone who has ever felt unseen, outcast, or forgotten.


Jaz Joyner

Image Via Goodreads


Because they are a kind and generous soul, Joyner has blessed us with an excerpt of the book, published in The Offing. The content of the novel is breathtaking; Joyner has an exceptional talent for writing magical realism. For your sensory enjoyment, here is an excerpt of the excerpt of Juniper Leaves:


Through a little peephole, I saw the fall in front of us, only it shone bright blue and the trees behind it looked like animation. There were creatures moving in the water that looked like dinosaurs. Real, actual dinosaurs. The eyelet grew, revealing the land, everything more vivid and opaque. I could see deep into the forest, and though parts of it were familiar but the little, round, wooden homes built high in the trees were like nothing I’d ever seen before. The void opened to a window twice our size and after suspending us for a moment spit us out, deep into the woods.


Juniper Leaves is available now.



Featured Image Via Wear Your Voice