Here are a few of the latest and greatest new and upcoming releases by Black British authors this month.
Dispatches From The Diaspora by Gary Younge
Publication Date: 14th March 2023
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Dispatches From the Diaspora contains a moving collection of political journalism from Gary Younge, a man whose voice is considered as one of the leading black political voices out of the UK. With a professional career spanning over 20 years, Younge has encapsulated in his book some of the most pivotal events of the 21st Century, all from his unique perspective. His involvement with world-changing politics over many years allows for an insightful and penetrating dive into events such as Hurricane Katrina, Obama’s election victory and Mandela’s first election campaign.
Praise for Dispatches From The Diaspora:
“Fused with truth, power and illumination” – David Lammy, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
“An outstanding journalist and chronicler of the African diaspora.” – Bernardine Evaristo, Author of Girl Woman, Other
The Blend: How to Successfully Manage a Career and a Family by Tobi Asare
Publication Date: 9th March 2023
Publisher: Headliner Home
It’s not about ‘juggling’ or ‘balancing’ your career and family. With Tobi Asare, it’s about blending the two.
Whether you are a mum of three, re-entering the workplace after giving birth, or just thinking about starting a family, introducing your career to your motherhood poses a daunting new reality for many women and mothers in the UK. Many self help books harp on about ‘juggling’ your work/life balance, illustrating a difficult balancing act
that never lets up or gets easier. `
Asare instead focuses on ‘The Blend’ of the two and how they can work in harmony, not opposition. Weaving together a comprehensive and easy to follow guide for new or aspiring mothers in the workplace she meticulously breaks down the common struggles mothers face while chasing their careers, and provides valuable insight on how to thrive, not just survive.
Asare allows her work to speak for itself. As the founder of My Bump Pay, an online platform that provides mothers with the relevant information and support to ensure they are not exploited by their employers during some of their most vulnerable and underrepresented months. It is obvious that Asare’s hard-earned wisdom has paid off, as well as the advice and tips from other flourishing, career-driven mothers who prove success stories are possible and probable with a little bit of help.
Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels by Tola Okogwu
Publication Date: 2nd March 2023
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
When Onyeka finds that the afro that has turned heads and invited ridicule by her peers has psychokinetic powers, she finds that her life will never be the same again.
In this second instalment of the Onyeka middle grade series, Onyeka and her superpowered friends find themselves on the run after exposing the nefarious intentions of their head teacher at The Academy, Dr Doyinbo. The Academy of the Sun, a rich and vibrant school in Nigeria for the Super-powered Solari people.
Fans of the series would have been introduced to the Solari who are still in danger. Worse still, Onyeka’s parents are still missing. With new foe’s revealing themselves at every turn, and known enemies closing in on the places Onyeka assumed safe, we rejoin Onyeka’s story as she navigates the intricacies of trusting a new group of allies, a group of rebels dubbed: The Rogues.
Will Onyeka and her friends be able to band together and defeat a new looming evil, or will it all be too late?
Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels is a delightful story for children of all ages.
Okogwu expands upon her already rich and complex world, bringing in higher stakes and new perspectives.
Praise for Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels:
“An incredible story that reinvents the concept of a school for magical kids. So inspiring and creatively original.” – L. D. Lapinski, author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency
Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks
Publication Date: 2nd March 2023
Publisher: Johnathan Cape
A woman lost and found in music. The Crypt, an underground club in an industrial town just outside of London is where our protagonist Yamaye spends most of her weekends. She and her friends party and drink and lose themselves to the music, dub specifically, forgetting their sometimes aimless existence in the real world. The dark and sometimes dingy basements provide Yamaye with a safety blanket where she can finally feel at peace, one with herself, her friends and her past.
This found freedom is threatened however, when her relationship with Moose, a man she falls irrevocably in love with, abruptly comes to an end. The place Yamaye once felt autonomy and the person that provided comfort and escape is gone, leaving her unmoored and drifting through life. This prompts a life-changing journey of self-discovery where she is initially led to Bristol, a city torn apart by police riots, and finally Jamaica, where she is forced to reckon with her past and its place in her present.
Jacqueline Crooks pairs a heartfelt and relatable story of losing oneself with engaging and real settings across the UK and Caribbean. Its result is a touching story with a real lesson to be learnt from its main character.
Praise for Fire Rush:
“Wrought with an incredible precision and a musicality which carries every sentence” – Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water.
Rootless by Krystle Zara Appiah
Publication Date: 16th March 2023
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Is home always where the heart is?
Meet Efe and Sam, the perfect couple to everyone around them. Sam is a focussed and pragmatic half Ghanaian man, set on a career in law and a life in the place he knows is his home; The UK. Efe, on the other hand, has just arrived in the UK from Ghana and is struggling to reconcile her aspirations of being an art curator with her parents’
expectations and the stark realities of the UK. After years spent as friends, the two find themselves falling in love and settle into marriage and starting a family. They have the true fairytale ending. Only this is not where Krystle Zara Appiah ends her novel.
The couple are challenged with another, unplanned, pregnancy that results in vastly differing views on family and settling down. Sam is seemingly getting everything he dreamed of, a stable marriage, growing family and flourishing career, while Efe finds herself in more and more of a nightmare as motherhood and its obligations begin to weigh on her.
When Efe flees back to Ghana, leaving Sam and their child in the UK, she has to decide which life is the one for her, the “perfect” marriage, or a life she once thought she lost, regained in Ghana where her art can come first.
A devastating story that forces its reader to really ask themselves what they deem most important.
Ada’s Realm by Sharon Dodua Otoo
Publication Date: 28th March 2023
Publisher: S. Fischer
Where is Ada? When is Ada? Who is Ada?
In Sharon Dodua Otoo’s novel, our main character Ada is not just one person, but an amalgamation of stories, a culmination of a woman’s life throughout the ages. Ada is not just one story with a beginning, middle and end, instead she is our story, a collective experience, the everywoman.
When we first collide with Ada, she is living in a small village in soon-to-be Ghana. She has given birth multiple times and again and again the baby does not survive. Her grief is interrupted by the introduction of Portuguese traders, the first white men in her village and a signal for the terrible changes that are soon to come for Ada and her kin. As we follow her story and the centuries progress, Ada will transform into a mathematical genius, a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps, and a pregnant Ghanaian woman seeking a new start in Berlin in 2019. Ada is everywhere and everyone.
Follow along as Ada flits from timeline to timeline, experiencing womanhood in all of its forms, as all of its people.
Praise for Ada’s Realm:
“A work of fierce imagination, by turns visceral, measured and experimental.” – Nii Ayikwei Parkes