By Sarah Ernestine, Meg Jones, Ellie Gibbs and Genevieve Bernard
Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert
5 October, Harperteen
"This title tells the harrowing, true tale of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most violent and deadly acts of domestic terrorism in American history."
Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion, recently wrote a nonfiction book titled Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. This title tells the harrowing, true events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most violent and deadly acts of domestic terrorism in American history. The event occurred when a white mob attacked the Greenwood District, a predominantly Black area, with firearms, gasoline and explosives. Over thirty city blocks were destroyed, and hundreds of people were killed. Black Birds in the Sky revisits this moment in history, answering questions about what happened at this event and how many people today are not aware of its occurrence. This book, noted as both “ambitious and intimate,” acknowledges the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre and brings the lives lost back into public conversation.
Seasons in Hippoland by Wanjiku Wa Ngũgĩ
15 October, Seagull Books
Wanjiku Wa Ngũgĩ crafts a magical and literary narrative of a wayward girl’s fascination with stories, and a cruel emperor’s desperation for a cure to his mysterious illness. Mumbi and her brother were sent to Hippoland, a rural area of Victoriana, in the hopes of curtailing their disobedience. However, the children’s alleged punishment comes in the form of a magical landscape and time spent with their Aunt Sara, who tells them the most extraordinary tales. As an adult, Mumbi never forgets her adoration for the story of the porcelain bowl, capable of healing any illnesses. She spreads the tale across the country and when news reaches the Emperor, Mumbi is forced to set out in search of it.
The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon
November 16, HarperCollins
This debut novel is one of self-discovery, featuring a Nigerian-Ghanaian girl growing up in postcolonial Ghana. Undergoing a feisty feminist awakening, Esi starts to notice the imbalance of the patriarchy and a society fraught with double standards. Esi is the secret keeper of the family, meaning she is not only keeping her father’s secrets but her half-sisters’ too. However, after her own sexual exploration leads to her humiliation, Esi realises how the consequences for women are much more than the consequences for men. The novel is one of a girl being shunted into womanhood, while trying to navigate a complicated political climate where her family’s intricate secrets are threatening to break at the seams. Adjapon’s The Teller of Secrets is certain to be one of the defining voices of West African literature.
Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
7 December, Chatto & Windus
Amanda Gorman’s name echoed around the world in 2020 after her reading at the US Presidential Inauguration for President Joe Biden. The poem she read, “The Hill We Climb,” is one of many unique, lyrical pieces included in her debut collection, Call Us What We Carry. The collection discusses themes of grief, identity, hope, healing and memory. Amanda Gorman is now a #1 New York Times best-selling author, and a poet whose works are rapidly becoming modern classics. Call Us What We Carry has also been included in The Guardian’s ‘50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2021’.
Wahala By Nikki May
6 January, Doubleday
A darkly comic and gripping dive into love, race, friendship and family, Wahala, May’s debut novel, is set to be one of the biggest books of 2022.
Three best friends are pushed to their limits when the mysterious and glamourous Isobel comes into their lives and turns everything upside down. Ronke, Simi and Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though not all of them choose to see it that way. Now in their 30s, each is facing a turning point in their life, marriage, jobs and motherhood, Isobel, a ‘friend’ from their past arrives. She is determined to fix their futures for them and is willing to go as far as committing crimes to do so. This book is described as: “Sex and The City with a killer edge. If you loved Queenie, Expectation, and My Sister the Serial Killer, you will love this.”