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.
In July a writer friend posted a link to the report: Reflecting Realities – A Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature 2017. The report was created by the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) and aimed to explore the extent and quality of ethnic representation in children’s publishing in the UK. The results were dire. The report concluded that of 9,115 children’s books published in the UK in 2017 4% featured BAME (black or ethnic minority) characters 1% had a BAME main character
When Nick Young invites his girlfriend on a trip to Singapore she frets about meeting his parents. She has no idea that her quiet, humble boyfriend has more money than the World Bank and that she’s about to enter the treacherous, back-biting world of Chinese high society.