BIPOC News Roundup
By Madhu Manivannan, Jia Wen Ho, Leanne Francis and Shaniah Shields
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola
Following her debut novel Love in Colour, a collection of bold retellings of myths and fairy tales from Nigeria to Greece, Babalola’s second novel, Honey and Spice, is set within the African-Caribbean society of the fictional Whitewell College. Perfect for lovers of the classic romcom, it follows Kiki Banjo, the no-nonsense host of a popular student radio show, and Malakai Korede, an archetypal playboy, as the lines between their real and pretend relationships blur.
Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors by Aravind Jayan
Jayan’s debut novel revolves around the drama that ensues when a scandalous video of Sreenath, the eldest son of a well-to-do family in Kerala, and his girlfriend, Anita, goes viral. Despite its subject matter, it has been described by The Guardian as “humorous and heartwarming” and “a fresh take on the family drama, the internet novel and the comedy of manners, slicing through inherited ideas around shame, honour, and reputation.”
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
This novel spans thirty years, following childhood best friends Sam and Sadie’s friendship and romance and their successes and failures. The plot weaves through the real and virtual world, heavily featuring video games, both playing and designing them. It explores the joy and camaraderie found in video gaming as contrasted against the harshness of the real world.
bigblackbooks: Issue One
Founded in February 2021, bigblackbooks is an online publication dedicated to promoting Black writers and publishers “working towards a world where we tell the stories we want to tell, in the ways we want to tell them.” Across the website, you can find all things Afro-literary, with content ranging from interviews with authors such as Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, to book reviews and opinion pieces by upcoming Black writers. Edited by its founder Jane Link, bigblackbooks has recently released its first annual magazine.
Issue One is a vibrant collection packed with heady stories of love, loss and home, all poured into poetry, flash fiction, essay, memoir and script. Aliyah Curry writes about Black female sexuality in ‘Scents’, whilst Debra Stone paints a vivid picture of growing up Black in 1960s Minneapolis in ‘The Sign in the Restaurant Window’. Publishers Joy Francis, Sareeta Domingo and Mireille Harper also share their favourite book recommendations with us in ‘The Syllabus.’ This instalment enables us to travel across the globe from the comfort of our homes, dropping us off in Africa, Asia, England, the Caribbean and the States, making it an unforgettable first issue! You can find Issue One of bigblackbooks here.
I’m A Fan: Sheena Patel in Conversation with Amy Mae Baxter
27 July, 7:00 p.m. Foyles, London
Editor at Dialogue Books and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Bad Form, Amy Mae Baxter will be in conversation with author Sheena Patel about her fizzing debut novel, I’m A Fan, which examines toxic relationships, social media and patriarchal systems. This event will be held at Foyles and there will also be an audience Q&A and a book signing. You can find more information about tickets here.
The Candid Book Club Interviews Kit de Waal 30 July, 3:00 p.m. Primadonna Festival, Suffolk
The Candid Book Club, established in 2016, comprises five unique women of colour who share a love of books, offering reviews and organising events along the way. They will interview My Name is Leon author Kit de Waal, who was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award in 2017, and discuss her upcoming memoir, Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood, which explores growing up in a household of opposites and extremes in 1960s Birmingham. The interview will take place at Primadonna Festival. You can find more information about tickets here.
Book Influencer Sign-Up for Penguin Random House Southeast Asia (SEA)
Calling all bookish individuals who talk about and review books on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Goodreads, Twitter and YouTube. Penguin Random House SEA is looking for you to showcase authors from the region and connect them to an international audience.
They are also exploring the option for book influencers to host and interview authors on their respective platforms. This opportunity is open to all book influencers, no matter which country you reside in.
Penguin Random House SEA is based in Singapore and publishes English-language books from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Myanmar. To find out more about the campaign and to sign up, click here.