Biography

From Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada), internationally celebrated artist Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational throat singer, avant-garde composer and bestselling author. A member of the Order of Canada, winner of the Polaris Music Prize (a Canadian equivalent to the Mercury Music Prize), Tagaq is an original disruptor, a world-changing figure at the forefront of seismic social, political and environmental change.

Photo credit © Dave Brosha 2018

Reviews

Annie Hayter
The Big Issue

This is a novel beyond wounds, where brutality and compassion hold hands. Myth is braided with history in a reality that is mundane as it is magical with every step. Split Tooth records a life of loving and finding the sublime in the face of effacement.’


The New Yorker

‘Tagaq’s surreal meld of poetry and prose transmutes the Arctic’s boundless beauty, intensity, and desolation into a wrenching contemporary mythology.’


Quill and Quire

‘Though the protagonist’s coming-of-age story, generously and lovingly documented by Tagaq, is the anchor, Split Tooth is not a book that can be fully absorbed in one sitting. It’s possible to sink deeper and deeper into the narrative with each successive reading. Like a smirking teenager, Split Tooth blithely gives typical literary expectations the finger, daring us to see and experience narrative as chaotic, emotional, and deeply instinctive. And it succeeds.’


Kirkus

‘A raw, powerful voice breathes fresh air into traditional Inuit folklore to create a modern tale of mythological proportions.’


Oprah Magazine

‘[Split Tooth] straddles the line between memoir and fiction, prose and poetry, magic and harsh reality. . . [and] is infused with Tagaq's intimate knowledge of life in the Arctic.’


Toronto Life magazine

‘[A] forceful coming-of-age tale.’

Sean Michaels

‘In [Tanya Tagaq]’s forthcoming novel, Split Tooth, there’s a chapter called “Ritual” that is such a distillation of childhood magic and refuge that it made me feel like I was reading Tove Jansson or Roald Dahl for the first time.’

Rick Simonson, owner of Elliott Bay Book Company

Tanya Tagaq has written a book that should re-arrange the reader’s mind and very being in her astounding Split Tooth. She uses the narrative arc of a coming of age story to tell of coming of age in a northern, indigenous community that includes close experience of abuse, village violence, colonial exploitation, and also close kin ties, birth, death, a knowing of how we are really fed, an awareness of how small life can be, and how large … I look forward to putting this book in people’s hands.’


PopMatters

‘In simplest terms, Split Tooth is a punch to the throat…a stellar first novel; an incredible work of Canadian, indigenous, and world literatures.’


Inuit Art Quarterly

‘Tagaq has broken a new trail for all future Inuit writers to tread upon, describing the lived world of an Inuk child with writing that is breathtaking and singular…With this work Tagaq has reshaped what Inuit literature is… it is impossible to stop reading. It is delicious. And offers a new way forward for Inuit authors.’

Elliot Page

‘One of the best things I've ever read. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. The last two pages of her book are just this whole beautiful piece about: I don’t want to forgive. But I forgive myself. I’ll pick it up every once in a while just to read that.’

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