RIVER, DIVERTED (Palimpsest Press, 2022)
The book shouldn’t exist – yet here it is.
River Black found cult success writing slasher flicks but has grown increasingly disillusioned and unhappy. When a mysterious book appears in her mailbox, her life is turned upside down. River returns to Nagano, Japan, where the book originated, hoping to pay respects to old friends and revisit her past. Instead, she finds her memory is duplicitous, her reality is porous, and the mysterious book is more alive than she could have believed. River, Diverted is a dark fairy tale that explores the trickery of memory, the delicacy of friendship, the nature of creativity and the deliverance of hope. Filled with pop culture references and a deep love of monster movies, River, Diverted is both a light-hearted and subtly serious read that will captivate readers.
“Sail along with frustrated screenwriter River Black as she navigates the sometimes turbulent waters of her time as an English language tutor and hostess in Nagano, Japan in the late 1990s. River, Diverted weaves River’s past and present in an engage tale of self-discovery and assertion of her agency as a woman and a writer” – G.A. Gristenthwaite, author of Home Waltz, finalist 2021 Governor General Literary Award for Fiction
“River, Diverted is an expat novel with heart, one that pushes boundaries and keeps you turning pages. In Jamie Tennant’s hands, the past and present are superimposed over one another in a riveting call and response. His version of Japan is a place where the drinks flow, the monsters are real, and grief is never far from the surface. A masterful performance.” – Mark Sampson, author of Sad Penninsula, Weathervane and All The Animals on Earth.
“…nobody writes a charming monster quite like Jamie does. 🙂 Highly recommend if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to chuck your North American life and move to Japan. The horror movie details are great too. There’s a few stories within this story, and I enjoyed them all.” – Emily Saso, author, Nine Dash Line
“… a taut, riveting, atmospheric novel that keeps readers racing alongside River to find the truth of both the strange book’s origin and River’s own fragmented memories. Exploring creativity, memory, and grief through a pop culture-saturated lens, River, Diverted is achingly honest and refreshingly contemporary, and Tennant’s set building of River’s expat Japanese experience is spellbinding.” – All Lit Up
“This book! I put this book down several times after reading well into it, each time it beckoned to me to pick it back up…Tennant serves up a protagonist, with a host of friends, and a mystery that needs your attention to walk through it – muddy river banks and all…I trusted this author to deliver, and he did just that.” – Miramichi Reader
“The arrival on her doorstep of an impossible book sends horror screenwriter River Black in search of answers to the Japan she’d fled two decades earlier. The story of that trip—and of the life she’d lived there before—is compelling, with convincing, beautifully drawn characters and precise, spellbindingly intricate settings. This is a very engaging and wonderfully crafted tale.” – KR Wilson, “3 Favourite Reads in 2023”
The Hamilton Review of Books’ Independently Published Bestsellers List: September 2022, October 2022
THE CAPTAIN OF KINNOULL HILL (Palimpsest Press, 2016)
Dennis Duckworth—widely considered the least-likeable person on the Chicago music scene—is a philanderer and a misanthrope with a history of inflicting pain and suffering on everyone he meets. When a routine flight from New York mysteriously alters its path, he finds himself penniless and stranded on a wooded hillside in rural Scotland. The hill is home to Eddie the Red Cap—a curmudgeonly, thousand-year-old goblin who loves books and regrets the violent past of his people. Eddie is determined to put his murderous life of mayhem behind him; Dennis merely wants to stop being a jackass. How can it be that Dennis faces the bigger challenge? Filled with absurdity, magic, humour and hope, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill asks what happens when we can no longer abide our own nature. Can we truly change ourselves and, in the end, is it worth it to try?
“Jamie Tennant tells a funny, fast moving tale of a resilient (and often idiotic) man work working through his life problems. This book is very fun and has a lot of heart.” ⎯Max Kerman, The Arkells
“…a great deal of fun…The Captain of Kinnoull Hill earns its cred across a number of vectors: it is at once a passionate love letter to the world of popular music a la Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a perfectly believable foray into the realm of the supernatural, and a riotously executed example of literary humour. Tennant’s prose is sharp and comic.” – Hamilton Arts & Letters
“Tennant transforms every moment into an opportunity for laughs. The Captain of Kinnoull Hill is an exceptional comedy due to its risk taking and novel application of contemporary and centuries-old comedy staples.” – University of Toronto Quarterly
Shortlisted for the 2017 Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction and the 2017 ReLit Award (Novel).