“When I was younger, I wrote stories with white heroines. I thought, ‘If I want to be published, this is what I’ll have to do. No one wants to read about black people.’” Romance writer Talia Hibbert is talking about her protagonists. Specifically, about the effort it took to stop imagining them as thin, white women and write characters who looked like her. “I grew up reading all these romances that I loved and they were so important, but they were also the kind of books that said, ‘His hand looked so dark against her pearlescent blah, blah, blah.’” She rolls her eyes and smiles. Advertisements
Have you written your reading list for 2019, yet? No? What are you waiting for? Let me lend a hand. Whether you’re a fervent fantasy fan, longing for some literary, hungry for a historical or crazy about crime, there’s a 2019 book out there for you. Here are 19 books by Black authors coming out this year. (Click the book jackets to buy or pre-order) 1. OMGs – Alexandra Sheppard Helen has just moved to North London with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings. Her stress levels are off the charts as she tries to juggle new friends, a big crush and the secret fact that she’s half mortal and half Greek God. 3 January 2. New Daughters of Africa – Margaret Busby 25 years after Margaret Busby’s landmark anthology, Daughters of Africa, this new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 women writers of African descent. It showcases key figures and popular contemporaries, as well as overlooked historical authors and today’s new and emerging writers. Amongst the contributors are: Chimamanda Ngozi …
I meet Alexandra Sheppard on a sweltering September evening. She’s travelled down from North London by bus to meet me at the Southbank Centre. She’s dressed in denim dungarees, her hair is pulled into a top knot and she has that baby-faced youthfulness that probably gets her carded all the time. We’ve met once before, at a Black Girls Book Club event where I got her to agree to a proper sit down so I could get all the dish on her highly anticipated debut novel, Oh My Gods.
I baked Lorraine’s White Chocolate & Cherry Torte with a Crème Fraiche Chantilly. It was surprisingly easy!
October 2018 was blessed. After years of longing, the stars finally aligned and I was able to pull together the funds and time to attend the Aké Arts & Book Festival. I’m only a little biased when I state with (Nigerian) pride that Aké is a bright jewel in the literary calendar. The four-day festival was friendly, well organised, inspiring and thought-provoking. What more can you ask for?
A young man is gunned down in Nairobi. His murder uncovers buried family secrets and the truths ripple back through the generations that have formed post-colonial Kenya. Incredible novel by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.
Olivia and Aiden rescue a group of stranded refugees from a remote planet, only for their new passengers to start dying in suspicious circumstances. Gripping murder-mystery, space opera based on Othello.