Esi Edugyan is a Canadian author, whose novel ‘Washington Black’ was short-listed for the 2018 ManBooker Prize. The full review of this awesome, adventurous, and unforgettable novel can be found here. You can listen to Esi talk about ‘Washington Black’ with the lovely people from ‘Books That Matter’ here. Esi is also the author of ‘Half Blood Blues’, a book about a black man, who is a rising star in the cabaret world in Nazi Germany.
Ayóbàmi Adébáyò, author of ‘Stay with Me’
If you know me or have been following me for a while, you’ll probably be rolling your eyes right now. I know, I know. I mention her and her book any chance I get – but trust me, you need to read ‘Stay With Me’. It was nominated for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 and for the Wellcome Prize 2018. The full review of the book can be found here and the interview with the amazing Ayọ̀bámi can be read here
Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of ‘Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows’
I came across Balli Kaur Jaswal and her book ‘Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows’ thanks to the Bookstagram community. I listened to it as an audiobook, which made it, in my opinion, so much better since the reader does such a fabulous job at performing the different accents, and at distinguishing the characters in the novel. Read the review of this heart-warming, funny, and touching book here and get the audiobook here (not sponsored).
Alexia Arthurs, author of ‘How to Love a Jamaican’
Alexia’s debut ‘How to Love a Jamaican’ is a collection of short stories, which I thoroughly loved. The stories are funny, touching, and critical. Alexia herself is also an absolute gem. She has a cat called ‘Couscous’, who is literally my spirit animal! Follow Alexia on Instagram for more Coucous-related posts and read the book review and interview with Alexia here.
Rachel Edwards, author of ‘Darling’
Rachel’s debut novel ‘Darling’ came out this year, and I read it in one weekend. The book was so engrossing and captivating that I could not put it down. I met Rachel a while ago at an event and had a chat with her. She was part of a panel on women and diversity in publishing and she gave some pretty serious yet encouraging advice for authors or future-authors, especially for black women and women more generally. Read the full review of her fantastically absorbing novel here.
Chinelo Okparanta, ‘Under the Udala Trees’
I discovered Chinelo’s writing this year when I picked up ‘Under the Udala Trees’. The book has been nominated, shortlisted, and longlisted for a number of prizes, the full list can be found here. Chinelo also wrote a short story collection called ‘Happiness Like Water’, which I have not read (yet), but which has also received a great array of praise, check it out here.