Jess is sixteen and aware that she is in an impossible position — being the homosexual daughter of the president of the Mennonite college. She hits the road in search of a language and the freedom to speak it. On the train to Winnipeg she is found by Freya, Icelandic princess of her dreams. Halfsteinn, fisherman and expert in the fine art of hand-rolling cigarettes, enters Jess’ life, helping her escape emotional captivity. Jess embraces pothead, videogame-playing housemates in the world away from her Mennonite being. Then, she meets Shea. Jess can barely utter the name—afraid of the word, the woman, the possibility, and her own past.

Part of our Literary Collection.

Somewhere Else is a beautiful and powerfully affecting book. I love Jan Braun’s writing and I absolutely admire her courage and grace.

Miriam Toews

Subject Fiction/Lesbian
Published October 2008
Price $19.95 CDN
Pages 196 pp (Paper)
Dimensions 5.5″ × 8.5″ × 0.5″
ISBN-10 1894037324
ISBN-13 9781894037327

Related Titles


  • Jennifer Pawluk, in The Uniter writes:

    As a work of prairie literature, Somewhere Else is sure to stand out. Jess Klassen is clearly the powerful product of a very powerful landscape. Identity; it’s what we all strive for, to know exactly where we stand. And Braun has certainly established herself as an up-and-coming Canadian writer with this book.


About the Author

Jan Guenther Braun is a writer who is also a member of a collectively owned organic grocery store. On the weekends she performs civil marriages. In the past few years she was selected for the Manitoba Writers’ Guild Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program, won the Manitoba round of the CBC Poetry Face-Off and received a Manitoba Arts Council Emerging Writers’ Grant.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Jan grew up on a farm and moved to Winnipeg in 1997 earning a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite Bible College in 2000 followed by a B.A., English Literature (Hons) from the University of Waterloo. In her work as an undergraduate in English Literature she focused on the transformative power of performance poetry within the context of communities in conflict. With a background in theology, farming, and performance poetry she integrates these themes in her writing through the lens of a queer Mennonite.