5 Fun Facts with Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

A blend of Queenie and The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives with a healthy spoonful of Bridget Jones’s Diary, Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? will make you laugh as you cheer for a loveable heroine looking for love, and herself, between her two cultures. From the blog post that inspired her to Yinka’s abiding love for her local chicken shop, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn gives us five fun facts about one of the first Black British romantic comedies.

To love is to see, and to be loved is to be seen: Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola

Love in Colour transports you into a better world. It makes you question your definition of love. It challenges you to be loved loudly and unashamedly. This is clearly a writer who understands romance and it is evident just how much she loves love. Bolu wants readers to know that to love is to see and to be loved is to be seen: it is the action of acceptance, the acceptance of others and the acceptance of self.

The Death of Vivek Oji shows us the possibility of queer love

The Death of Vivek Oji is primarily interested in all the ways that love manifests itself and how limited understandings of sexuality constrain a more expansive understanding of everything love can be. Akwaeke Emezi highlights the fallibility of social perception and the limits of what we think we know.

Bernardine Evaristo cuts her teeth on a fun verse novel

The Emperor's Babe is an irreverent and salacious romp that merges together tradition and contemporaneity in a startlingly unique way. Published almost 20 years before Girl, Woman, Other and four years before the similarly daring Blonde Roots, The Emperor’s Babe offers a distinctively different Evaristo. When not slyly winking at the reader who is equal parts befuddled and delighted, this Evaristo reveals the years of genre waywardness it took to mould her distinctive brand of literary experimentation for popular success.

Maame Blue’s debut romance is a breathtaking love letter to diaspora

Maame Blue's astonishing debut is a tender portrait of diasporic community showcasing the resilience of love across time and space. Bad Love has a somewhat misleading title. Though it is about how we hurt and are hurt in love, it is ultimately about the resilience of love across space and time. One of Jacaranda’s Twenty in 2020, Blue's exceptional gift for characterisation leads her to achieve something that very few do: a protagonist-led novel that makes you forget that it is.