WINNER of the James Tait Black Prize 2021. WINNER of The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2021.
Lush and frothy, incisive and witty, Shola von Reinhold's decadent queer literary debut immerses readers in the pursuit of aesthetics and beauty, while interrogating the removal and obscurement of Black figures from history.
Solitary Mathilda has long been enamored with the 'Bright Young Things' of the 20s, and throughout her life, her attempts at reinvention have mirrored their extravagance and artfulness. After discovering a photograph of the forgotten Black modernist poet Hermia Druitt, who ran in the same circles as the Bright Young Things that she adores, Mathilda becomes transfixed and resolves to learn as much as she can about the mysterious figure. Her search brings her to a peculiar artists' residency in Dun, a small European town Hermia was known to have lived in during the 30s. The artists' residency throws her deeper into a lattice of secrets and secret societies that takes hold of her aesthetic imagination, but will she be able to break the thrall of her Transfixions?
From champagne theft and Black Modernisms, to art sabotage, alchemy and lotus-eating proto-luxury communist cults, Mathilda's journey through modes of aesthetic expression guides her to truth and the convoluted ways it is made and obscured.
The author of the acclaimed novel Scarborough weaves an unforgettable and timely dystopian tale about a near-future, where a queer Black performer and his allies join forces to rise up when an oppressive regime gathers those deemed "Other" into concentration camps.
Set in a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods leading to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called The Boots seizes on the opportunity to round up communities of color, the disabled, and the LGBTQ+ into labour camps.
In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After he loses his livelihood as a drag queen and the love of his life, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer, who helps them plan an uprising at a major televised international event.
With her signature "raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful" (Booklist) prose, Catherine Hernandez creates a vision of the future that is all the more frightening because it is very possible. A cautionary tale filled with fierce and vibrant characters, Crosshairs explores the universal desire to thrive, love, and be loved for being your true self.
From the award-winning writer of The Reactive, Triangulum is an ambitious, often philosophical and genre-bending novel that covers a period of over 40 years in South Africa's recent past and near future -- starting from the collapse of the apartheid homeland system in the early 1990s, to the economic corrosion of the 2010s, and on to the looming, large-scale ecological disasters of the 2040s.
In 2040, the South African National Space Agency receives a mysterious package containing a memoir and a set of digital recordings from an unnamed woman who claims the world will end in ten years. Assigned to the case, Dr. Naomi Buthelezi, a retired professor and science-fiction writer, is hired to investigate the veracity of the materials, and whether or not the woman's claim to have heard from a "force more powerful than humankind" is genuine. Thus begins Triangulum, a found manuscript composed of the mysterious woman's memoir and her recordings. Haunted by visions of a mysterious machine, the narrator is a seemingly adrift 17-year-old girl, whose father never recovered from the shock of losing his wife. She struggles to navigate school, sexual experimentation, and friendship across racial barriers in post-Apartheid South Africa. With extraordinary aplomb and breathtaking prose, Ntshanga has crafted an inventive and marvelous novel.
Evelyn Dove embraced the worlds of jazz, musical theatre and, most importantly, cabaret, in a career spanning five decades from the 1920s through to the 1960s. A black British diva with movie star looks, she captivated audiences and admirers around the world, enjoying the same appeal as the 'Forces Sweetheart' Vera Lynn throughout the Second World War.
Refusing to be constrained by her race or middle-class West African and English backgrounds, she would perform for infamous Russian leader, Joseph Stalin; become a regular vocalist for the BBC and a celebrated performer across continental Europe, India and the US.
At the height of her fame in the 1930s, she worked with the pioneers of black British theatre, replacing Josephine Baker as the star attraction in a revue at the Casino de Paris and scandalizing her family by appearing on stage semi-nude.
This is a celebration of an extraordinary career punctuated with vertiginous highs and profound lows, and places Dove in historical context with artists of her time, such as Adelaide Hall, Dame Cleo Laine and Dame Shirley Bassey.
Lifting the Fire Hydrant Lid
A raw, eye-opening memoir from a North East firefighter, charting her journey into the male dominated heart of the British Fire and Rescue Service.
Lifting the Fire HydrantLid follows young, idealistic recruit, Kate Fullen, as she negotiates training school and settles into life on the watch. With incidents and routine tasks woven into the fabric of the story, it describes the consuming pressure, emotional turmoil and unpredictable nature of the job.
Utilising the rare perspective of a northern, queer, working-class female firefighter, Lifting the Fire Hydrant Lid examines the more intricate difficulties experienced by minority groups and gives a voice to a profession that is seldom heard and rarely seen.
War to Windrush
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Stephen Bourne's War to Windrush explores the lives of Britain's immigrant community through the experiences of Black British women during the period spanning from the beginning of World War II to the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
In those short years, Black British women performed integral roles in keeping the country functioning and set the stage for the arrival of other black Britons on the MV Empire Windrush. The book shows first-hand what life was like in Britain for black women through photography and evocative prose.
War to Windrush retraces the history of those women who helped to build the great, multicultural Britain we know today. It is a celebration of multiculturalism and immigration, much needed in today's political climate.
These Letters End in Tears
'If by some chance you happen on these letters, know that I waited for you. And if you don't find me, it is not because I stopped waiting...'
While chasing a rogue football, Fatima crosses paths with Bessem and the instant attraction between the two propels them into a life-changing romance. Despite an atmosphere of threat due to the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in their home country of Cameroon, Fatima and Bessem persevere in living out their love. All seems to be going well, until one day tragedy strikes, and Fatima disappears...
Thirteen years later, Bessem is now a university professor, keeping her sexuality secret but bonding with her equally-closeted friend Jamal and the queer community around her. But Fatima still haunts her. A chance encounter with people from her past, pushes Bessem to finally go after the truth of her lover's whereabouts.
Told mostly through unsent letters, These Letters End in Tears, powerfully charts all the different ways that love, despite all odds, can persevere.