TBB Recommended Reads for May

This May, two beautiful poetry anthologies are released celebrating Black British poetry…

alongside satirical and witty commentaries on modern life in Britain and elsewhere.

More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry edited by Kayo Chingonyi

DJ Kayo Chingonyi collates the work of exception Black British poets of the contemporary moment, including Adam Lowe, Raymond Antrobus, Yomi Sode, Warsan Shire, Rachel Long and many many more. This collection is inspired by Lemn Sissay’s Fire People (see below), and is Chingonyi’s dream mixtape of touching and memorable words. 

[REISSUE] The Fire People edited by Lemn Sissay

A collection of the seminal late 90s anthology of Black British and Asian poetry, this reissue is not to be missed. It was first published in 1998 and includes the works of many established poets who were rising stars at the time. 

Poets in the collection include Patience Agbabi, Jackie Kay, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Joy Russell, Lemn Sissay, Labri Siffre, John Siddique and many more.

More Fiya and The Fire People will be published on 19th May 2022. They are available for pre-order on Hive and other online retailers and bookshops. 

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams 

A humorous, character-led drama, People Person is the highly-anticipated sophomore novel of Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams. The novel follows Dimple Pennington, an aspiring lifestyle blogger, who reconnects with the half-siblings she hardly knows. Things get even more complicated when Dimple, Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce are forced to reconnect with their absent father, Cyril, following a catastrophic event.

Hailing from South London, Candice Carty-Williams is the author of the best-selling Queenie with an unforgettable eponymous heroine who captured readers’ hearts in 2019. 

Praise for People Person: ‘People Person is a triumph’- Caleb Azumah Nelson

‘As warm and infectious, as familiar and true as Queenie. A funny and touching study of sibling relationships’ – Diana Evans

Raven Smith’s Men by Raven Smith

Raven Smith is back with a witty, honest series of essays which chronicle the men he has loved, hated, admired, and observed. Following his critically-lauded debut Trivial Pursuits comes Raven Smith’s Men. Part memoir, part commentary on masculinity, it is about the men Raven Smith has encountered, loved, hated and observed. Rather than placing men in types, Smith draws on his understanding of men through his own experiences with men in all their complicated forms. 

Smith is a British Vogue columnist and essayist. He’s both curious and terrified of his own participation in the great male privilege and while this book will not shy away from difficult truths, it will also make you laugh an enormous amount!

Praise for Raven Smith’s Men: ‘A thoroughly entertaining, no-holds-barred examination of modern masculinity that offers up conclusions as surprising as they are perceptive’ – Otegha Uwagba

‘A brilliant writer, he takes up all the space, pushing overextended budgie smugglers into gaps that have been missing from the contemporary autobiography for far too long’ – Russell Tovey

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez 

Inspired by shocking real events, Take My Hand is set in and around Montgomery, Alabama in 1973. Civil Townsend is keen to make a difference at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic to help women make choices for their own lives and bodies. Exploring the links between racism and medical ethic, Perkins-Valdez’s novel is an eye-opening read in a time when the rights over women’s bodies are continually threatened in the USA.  

It is an unforgettable story about love and courage, sisterhood and solidarity, it is also a timely and hopeful reminder that it only takes one person to change the world.

Praise for Take My Hand

‘Delicate and poetic… This haunting tale, captured through the lens of an unforgettable narrator and a cast of memorable characters, will stay with you for a very, very long time’ – Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun

‘I love her voice and how she makes the past feel immediate and relevant because it is’ – Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale

Take My Hand will be published on 12th May 2022. It is available for pre-order on Hive and other online retailers and bookshops. 

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi 

The vivid and passionate writing of Akwaeke Emezi follows the protagonist Feyi Adekola on her quest to find love again. Five years since the accident that killed the love of her life, her life has been transformed. Now tentatively entering the dating scene, she also has her eyes on someone else who is most definitely off-limits. Is she ready to embrace her future and love against all odds?

The rights to You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty were sold to Amazon Studios and will be developed into a film by Michael B. Jordan’s production company, Outlier Society. 

Emezi authored The Death of Vivek Oji, which was shortlisted for multiple literary awards including the 2021 Dylan Thomas Prize. 

Praise for The Death of Vivek Oji and Akwaeki Emezi

A dazzling, devastating story . . . A puzzle wrapped in beautiful language, raising questions of identity and loyalty that are as unanswerable as they are important.’ – The New York Times Book Review

Remarkably assured and graceful. . . . Emezi has once again encouraged us to embrace a fuller spectrum of human experience.’ – The Washington Post

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty will be published on 26th May 2022. It is available for pre-order on Hive and other online retailers and bookshops. 

News at Noon by Anietie Isong 

When a sick man flies in from a neighbouring country, he becomes Nigeria’s first Ebola case-patient zero. As the cases rise and journalists across the country vie for the lead in reporting the news on the imminent pandemic, Ifiok and his colleagues must immediately tackle the spread of the virus by raising awareness, sharing information, and supporting the outreach efforts of health workers. Unfortunately, they also have to battle against hysteria, misinformation, corruption and denial. Will Ifiok succeed in his quest to become the next president of the Society of Journalists in Lagos, win the battle against misinformation and find love along the way?

With a background in broadcasting and communication, Isong explores issues of corruption in journalism with a satirical twist. Isong is a writer of short stories, and is Isong’s first novel, Radio Sunrise, won the 2018 McKitterick Prize. 

Praise for Radio Sunrise and Anietie Isong:

’What is left when there is no hope and everything is for sale? Isong weaves a profoundly personal story of contemporary Nigeria even while dealing with broader societal and cultural issues.’ Chika Unigwe, Man Booker International 2017 judge

News at Noon will be published on 23rd June 2022. It is available for pre-order on Hive and other online retailers and bookshops. 


Latest articles

Related articles