Each month TBB’s Priscilla Owusu offers her book recommendations. Here are her suggestions for this month…
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
Mengiste’s long-awaited second novel is set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia and focuses on the female soldiers written out of African history. It follows recently orphaned Hirut, as she goes from being a maid in the household of one of Emperor Haille Selassie’s officers to eventually becoming the Emperor’s guard during a perilous war against Italy. A beautifully written story The Shadow King is an exploration of female power and what it means to be a woman at war.
The Shadow King will be available to buy from all good bookshops and online book retailers on 30 January 2020
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Thirty-two years on from the classic novel Nervous Conditions, Tsitsi Dangarembga is back with a powerful sequel about the obstacles facing women in Zimbabwe. After leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds her attempts to make a fresh start blocked at every turn with new fresh humiliations, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality push her to breaking point.
This Mournable Body is available to buy from all good bookshops and online book retailers, now.
Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu
“Tolu may be small, but she’s very determined”. Too Small Tola, is about a young girl who is small, but very determined. Through three delightful stories, Tola proves her strength when she goes to the market with her grandmother and carries home a basket full of yams and vegetables, chilli peppers and fish. When the taps in the flat don’t work, it’s Tola who brings water from the well, and it’s Tola who saves the day when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, needs his goods to be delivered quickly.
Too Small Tola is available to buy from all good bookshops and online book retailers, now.
The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim
The well-received debut novel by art historian and critic, Nana Oforiatta Ayim tells the story of Maya, a young Ghanaian woman growing up in Germany. A familiar, coming-of-age tale set between Ghana, Britain, and Germany, The God Child explores the feeling of being caught between two cultures, and the struggle and desire to find acceptance in both.
The God Child is available to buy from all good bookshops and online book retailers, now.
The Clapback: Your Guide to Calling Out Racist Stereotypes by Elijah Lawal
Clapback: [Noun / Verb] Responding to an (often ignorant) notion with a withering comeback; with the aim of shutting. it. down.
In this witty, lighthearted guide, Lawal examines the evolution of the negative stereotypes towards the black community and arms you with the tools to shut them down once and for all. In a similar vein to Jeffrey Boakye’s Blacklisted, this book takes readers on a journey through history and providing facts and detailed research, this is an eye-opening and refreshing look at race and language.
The Clapback is available to buy from all good bookshops and online book retailers, now.