JD Derbyshire (they/them) is a Vancouver-based comedian, theatre maker, writer, and mad activist whose work examines mental health, neurodiversity, queerness, and gender exploration. Derbyshire has toured Canada as a stand-up comedian and solo performer, has written over twenty plays that have been produced by companies in Victoria, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, and cohosts the mental health podcast Mad Practice. Their play Certified, which served as partial inspiration for Mercy Gene, turns the audience into a mental health review board to determine Derbyshire’s sanity by the end of the show. Certified won two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver and was described by the Georgia Straight as “a testament to a dynamic performance and delicate storytelling.” Mercy Gene (Goose Lane Editions) is Derbyshire’s first novel.
“Mercy Gene is an incredible book that lifted me right up off the ground and away to other places both hard and soft.” — Miriam Toews, author of Fright Night and Women Talking