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Split Tooth

Narrated by: Tanya Tagaq
Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer who has dazzled and enthralled the world with music it had never heard before, a fierce, tender, heartbreaking story unlike anything you've ever heard.

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy and friendship and parents' love. She knows boredom and listlessness and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine listeners will never forget.

©2018 Tanya Tagaq (P)2018 Viking

Critic Reviews

Shortlisted, 2019 Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Winner, 2019 Indigenous Voices Award - Published Prose in English

Shortlisted, 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Longlisted, 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Longlisted, 2019 Sunburst Award For Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

Longlisted, 2019 Sunburst Award 

“Tagaq’s surreal meld of poetry and prose transmutes the Arctic’s boundless beauty, intensity, and desolation into a wrenching contemporary mythology.” (The New Yorker

“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.” (Quill and Quire

“Tanya’s book is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read. It’s deeply profound, emotional and personal, and furthers her artistic experimentation and genius into a new realm. I love her even more after reading it, and I’m once again awed by her talent.” (Jesse Wente, CBC Broadcaster) 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Confronting, Captivating

This audio edition includes vocal performances by Tanya Tagaq. She also narrates the audio & her artistic vocal performance is used with full effect. I can't help thinking that anyone reading the print edition is missing out.

I'm a sucker for a novel written with rhythm & rhyme. When an author has put that level of thought into their construction & when it works, it is a beautiful thing. This novel is a beautiful thing.

It is also horrible, terrible, confronting, magical, captivating, punishing and generous. It destroys and creates. And destroys & creates.

Split Tooth may fall into the category of "auto fiction". It's part memoir, part fiction & Tagaq isn't telling which is which.

I'm not sure what to reveal about the content otherwise. Do readers want to know that they will be confronted with terrible child abuse? With terrifying childhood exploits? It's a coming of age tale but not as you know it. It is folkloric but there are no fairytales here. I loved the revenge fantasy (can I hope this part is real? I want to believe it is real). I loved the character as Earth, despoiled & birthing. All things.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deep and wild

Tanya Tagaq tells her story with great intimacy. A powerful view into the life and spirituality of the Inuit people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Unusual, poetic and spiritual

A true song to nature and to what could have been Tagaq's spiritual life. Wild and moving, shocking and soothing. An unusual, emotional roller coaster.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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astounding

an amazing story full of truth and love and delivered with fiery passion. a must read for anyone who believes in the power of love and the kinship we all have with nature. the author narrates the story, which is the reason I wanted it in audio form. she infuses her throat singing at many intervals throughout which only enhances the wonderful listening experience. was a wonderful book and will be among my favorites forever more. thank you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magic?

How many worlds existed in and around this main character?
How do you live “in” and react to a world of magic and yet one so free of safeguards and even ability to expect things to work out? I was engrossed by it all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A unique and moving book

This book is filled with difficulties and sadness, joy, mythical connections, and beauty. It is beautifully written and performed and includes many segments of throat singing for which the author is known. I understand that some of this is poetry in here as well as prose so someday I want to see a paper copy of it for the poetry segments.

I'm not sure this book is for everyone, but if you can make a connection to it then it is a worthy read or listen. I'm hoping that she will write more books. I would certainly be willing to go on that journey with her again. I give it a solid 5 stars all around.

The author is also a gifted artist. I'm in awe of her talent