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Why I Write

I write to call their names. The same way we say Breonna, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Trayvon, Botham Jean, Dante Wright, Nizah Morris. I write in celebration.

FEATURED

Dapo 2

“Books work better when illustrators are allowed to shape the story”: A conversation with Dapo Adeola

children’s, illustration

The winner of the 2020 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Dapo Adeola spills on everything from his unique creative processes to how the publishing industry mistreats its illustrators.

Mandela Square

When Mr Mandela Came to Town: The Story Behind the Book

children’s, memoir

I remember the day so vividly. It was the summer of 1996—July to be exact. I was 11 years old and in my last year of primary school. I can remember the atmosphere was electric. He captivated audiences wherever he went. I explicitly remember my dad saying: “This is history in the making, better than any book you will ever read.” Ironically, 25 years later, I have now written about this very experience in a book titled When Mr Mandela Came to Town.

Perfect Nine Square

The first title originally written in an African language longlisted for the Booker

verse novel, folktale

The Perfect Nine is the first ever title originally written in an African language longlisted for a Booker Prize. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is also the first to be nominated as both author and translator of the same book. A modern take on the origin story of Kenya’s Gĩkũyũ people, it is one those rare books about history that has, itself, made history. None is more deserving of these accolades than Wa Thiong’o.

How Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s great Ugandan novel shows us other ways of knowing

Africanjujuism, literary

It may surprise a few to know that Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s debut, a now-established classic of African literature, was rejected by British publishers for being ‘too African’.

Yinka Lizzie Square White

5 Fun Facts with Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

chick lit, romance

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn is a British Nigerian writer from Peckham in London and Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? is her debut novel. The charming Yinka is not unlike her creator: a thirty-something with an overeager mother.

Black Finance White Square

Black Girl Finance: Let’s Talk Money offers us the vital tools we need for better financial well-being

self-help

It’s been difficult to find a beginner-friendly finance book that speaks directly to me. As a 23-year-old woman from a black single-parent household, Black Girl Finance finally made me feel seen.

Lazy Christmas White Square

All I want for Christmas is the death of lazy, “diversity” language

industry news

Whilst we strive for an industry that reflects the ethnic makeup of its surroundings, we should also strive for specificity in how we talk about people that truly respects the diversity of our world.

TREAT YOUR SHELF

Black Church Black Square

A Century of The Black Church Experience: 30 Books

spirituality

These are the stories of churchgoers, and church leavers for one thing is certain: reckoning with one of the oldest configurations of the Black community requires great fortitude.

15 Coming-of-Age Novels in English Translation

literary, translation

This list brings together the stories of Black youth from all four corners, moving away from the dominance of Anglophone voices.

6 Unforgettable Black Poetry Collections

poetry

From the concrete heights of a North Peckham estate to the azure shores of the Zambezi River, these poetry collections are brilliant. 

THE DOWNLOW

Iduma Square White

“This book was the way to offer a kind of solidarity”: A conversation with Emmanuel Iduma

travel, experimental

A Stranger’s Pose, is a dreamy travelogue and memoir through west and north Africa that explores the nature of estrangement, identity and grief among other things.

Jewell Parker White Square

“I felt that I had grown up and become Jewell Parker Rhodes”: A conversation with Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes

children’s, historical

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes sheds light on learning literary traditions from her dear Grandmother and how to adapt oral culture for printed children’s books.

Dean Atta White Square

“I’m writing the stories I need to write”: A conversation with Dean Atta

YA, verse novel

Dean Atta is a Greek-Cypriot Jamaican-British poet who was named one of the most influential LGBT people in Britain by the Independent on Sunday.

TPP
The Bookseller