Some reading recommendations

There’s no new episode this week, but here’s a mini-episode about some of the fiction I’m taking back down off the shelves recently in light of the political climate. Here are the books mentioned.

Heads Of The Coloured People - Nafissa Thompson-Spires

The story I mentioned (“Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology”) is actually available as a sample on the Fawcett Society’s website, if you want to try before you buy. I read it on a flight last year, and like all in-flight reading, will probably remain over-attached to this book until I’m dead.

It had long irked Riley that his blackness or the degree of his loyalty to the cause should be suspect because he wore blue contacts and bleached his hair blond and because, on top of all that, his name was also Riley, and not, say, Tyreke. It irked him that he might be mistaken for a self-hating Uncle Tom because he enjoyed cosplay and anime and comic book conventions and because he happened to be feeling the character of a rich Japanese schoolboy a little too much at that very moment.

Kindred - Octavia E Butler

Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

Nudibranch - Irenosen Okojie

The story about the tailor that I mention on the podcast (“Synsepalum”) is also available as an extract on Minor Literatures and it’s just so breathtakingly good that I have to paste some of it here:

On the third occasion the women wore their outfits, they discovered Manu had lied to them. They could wear the designs only three times. The third time, they couldn’t get out of them. Seams tightened, buttons couldn’t be undone, petticoats became silken cages. The women rolled around in the damp earth of their gardens, climbed onto their husbands, partners, lovers, hollering to them to get the scissors, knives, shears, anything to cut them out. They spilled onto the streets. It was on this morning that Noma arrived outside the museum to find the crowd of women. Manu had disappeared, gone to the next place, the next set of women who needed to feel good, whose images of themselves he could manipulate, like startled adult changelings behind a lens. The atelier was empty, the sewing-machines and mannequins forlorn in the void.

Such a Fun Age - Kiley Reid

Property - Valerie Martin

The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory

Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo

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