By Michelle Ye, Shaniah Shields, Jia Wen Ho and Leanne Francis
No summer is complete without the perfect book. Escape from the heat by hiding in your favourite nook with exciting summer releases from authors of colour ranging from YA to fiction and poetry.
The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng
May 18, Canongate
Man Booker Prize shortlisted author, Tan Twan Eng, brings readers into English writer William Somerset Maugham’s private life and the secrets of those around him. Always on a hunt for adventure, William has arrived on the shores of Penang, and is invited to stay in the luxurious home of his own friend, Robert Hamlyn. Little did he know, the spiciest, most adventurous stories were hidden all along with his friend’s dutiful wife, Lesley Hamlyn.
Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin
June 13, Berkley, Penguin Random House
Looking for a fun summer read to pair with a cool lemonade? This novel is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with a South Indian twist. Nada Syed is an engineer with big dreams of rocketing a start-up, but she is also single, and her mother makes sure she is constantly reminded. In a bid to pry Nada from her shell, her best friend, Haleema, drags her to an annual Muslim conference to meet new people. But unfortunately, she runs into Baz, someone she already had a past with. Is this a time for closure or to rekindle sparks?
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
August 1, Canongate
From the award-winning author of The Poet X comes a brand new novel about lineage, life, and love. Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo traces the intertwining stories of the Marte sisters as they prepare for a wake. When Flor, who has the ability to predict the day someone will die, decides to host her own wake, her three sisters wonder what she has foreseen. In the three days leading up to the wake, secrets between the siblings are slowly unearthed. Matilde is forced to confront her fractured marriage, Pastora must come to terms with her past, and Camila decides she will no longer be taken for granted. This intimate, multi-generational story is the perfect reminder of what makes us human.
Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
July 18, Hodder & Stoughton
Number one New York Times bestselling author Chloe Gong is back with her adult fantasy debut novel. Following in the vein of her Shakespeare inspired series, Immortal Longings is inspired by the bard’s play Antony and Cleopatra. From spilled blood to an avenging princess and romance set amongst deadly games, this is a gripping story. Partnered with razor-sharp prose, this is a tour de force of Asian futurism that has been likened to The Hunger Games. This is not one to miss out on this summer!
Heavy is the Head by Sumaya Enyegue
August 1, Central Avenue Publishing
Heavy is the Head is the debut poetry collection by South African writer, Sumaya Enyegue. Described as an “ode to girlhood, to Blackness, to generational trauma, sexual assault, and mental health,” Heavy is the Head is designed to both hurt and heal. Enyegue presents us with her scars and invites us to look upon our own, each poem a reminder of the weight of our human experience. This collection may not be for the faint-hearted, but is the ideal read for those wanting to look inward this summer.
Plantains and Our Becoming: Poems by Melania Luisa Marte
August 22, Penguin Random House USA
In her tender-hearted debut poetry collection Plantains and Our Becoming, Melania Luisa Marte looks at the identities and histories of the Dominican Republic and Haiti in this celebration of Black diasporic experience. Through the exploration of themes including identity, culture, home and belonging, Marte has created a joyous vision of Black identity and being. These poems are relatable, honest, and about being your most authentic self. The poet who is also a musician went viral for their poem ‘Afro-Latina’ which reached over nine million views.
Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim
August 29, Hodderscape
Elizabeth Lim expands the lore of New York Times bestseller Six Crimson Cranes, in this fantastical tale of sisterhood. Cursed to bear a serpent’s face, Channi is the antithesis to her sister, Vanna's allure. But despite their differences, against the manipulation of village leaders, the only people the sisters can trust is each other. When Vanna becomes the prize in a brutal competition of suitors, only Channi, strengthened by years under her curse, is able to brave the dangers beauty ignites.
Kingdom of Blood and Gold by Joyce Chua
June 13, Penguin Random House SEA
Following the events of Land of Sand and Song, Kingdom of Blood and Gold hits the ground running as Desert Rose flees from friends she once trusted. Confronted by revelations of her fate and the looming role she must play in an ancient prophecy, Rose’s long-held conviction of charting her own path gradually becomes an echo of the past. Told from four different perspectives, Chua’s novel embraces the complexity and deception of political intrigue while providing an intimate understanding of individual motivations. Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Joyce Chua to discuss this newest publication!