“A spotlight on romance identifies trends and authors to watch. Many readers are hungry for romances featuring interracial matches. Debut author Jey Tehya’s new novel considers love between a pansexual biracial (white and Cherokee) woman and a Mumbai man who is slated for an arranged marriage in The Wrong Kind of Indian (Wyatt-MacKenzie, Jan. 2017)” —LibraryJournal, 10/20/16
“You look something.” It’s what Jennifer has heard her entire life as a “whitewashed” half-Cherokee, half-white girl in a small Oregon town.
The Wrong Kind of Indian is a memoir-style story of what it means to claim your identity after a dysfunctional childhood steeped in sexuality that emerges too early, parents whose actions hovered between neglect and abuse, the cycle of abuse escalating into homelessness as a teen, and the flailing that occurs when you don’t feel like you belong, anywhere.
While the loss of friendships, family, and any remnants of self are endured, this is ultimately a story of hope. Of love.
Crossing the bridge over 30, from 27-34 years old, Jennifer explores what it means to be a Native woman, a writer, and a survivor. Falling in love with a man from Mumbai earmarked for an arranged marriage, she escapes to Costa Rica with another man she barely knows to put distance between herself and the “other Indian.” Running away for the second time in her life ultimately reveals what Jennifer really wants.
Highlighted by glimpses into Jennifer's past, and into the mindset of eating disorders and sexual awakenings, and spanning the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica and India, The Wrong Kind of Indian is a story of discovery and the realization that maybe nobody is the wrong kind of anything after all.
“All I can say is, wow. Tehya can write ... vividly honest and packed with small and brutal emotional punches. I read this slowly, savoring each page ... a skilled and accomplished book. I highly, highly recommend.”
— Cinthia Ritchie, author of Dolls Behaving Badly