The Situationship by Taylor-Dior Rumble
Themes: Dating, Dating apps, Love, Self-love
Expectations of dating apps are low, so it's a surprise when she instantly connects with handsome photographer Nate. He's everything she's looking for; he makes her feel safe, seen, and desired. Tia assumes they're on the same page - the only catch? They're yet to have The Talk.
In a generation that's normalised competing over who cares the least, can Tia overcome her fears and lay her cards on the table, in the pursuit of something real?
Plantains And Our Becoming by Melanie Luisa Marte
Themes: Identity, Belonging, Culture, Home
In this imaginative, blistering poetry collection, Marte looks at the identities and histories of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to celebrate and center the Black diasporic experience. Through the exploration of themes like self-love, nationalism, displacement, generational trauma, and ancestral knowledge, this collection uproots stereotypes while creating a new joyous vision for Black identity and personhood.
Locks by Ashleigh Nugent
Themes: Historical Fiction, Family, Crime
Aeon, a mixed-up and mixed-race teenager from a Liverpool suburb, is desperate to understand the Black identity thrust upon him. But Aeon’s journey of self-discovery is hampered by the fact that the only Black people in his life are his dad and his cousin, Increase.
Aeon’s ambition to find his place in the world takes him to Jamaica. Here, Aeon soon finds that smoking loads of weed, growing messy locks and wearing massive red boots don’t necessarily help him to fit in. Within days of his arrival he is mugged, arrested and banged up in a Jamaican detention centre. Seen as the ‘White boy’, he finds that his journey of self-discovery has only just begun - and he’s going to have to fight for the respect and recognition he deserves.
Catalyst edited by Ayoola Solarin
Genre: Comics Anthology
Themes: Change, Chance/Coincidence, Euphoria, Catastrophe
From tales of misplaced memories to battles with the id, Catalyst offers a look at the consequences of big and small acts alike. Showcasing a mix of established and emerging artists, this collection imagines the myriad ways in which a chain of events might end in either euphoria or catastrophe. Sometimes both.
This provocative, intriguing and revelatory anthology invites readers to consider the situations, people and events that might accelerate change in their own lives and in our society as a whole.
The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy
Themes: Systemic Racism, Police system, Childhood, Media
Michelle Cameron's name is associated with the most abhorrent of crimes. A child who lured a younger child away from her parents and to her death, she is known as the black girl who murdered a little white girl; evil incarnate according to the media.
The Gosling Girl is a moving, powerful account of systemic, institutional and internalised racism, and of how the marginalised fight back. It delves into the psychological after-effects of a crime committed in childhood, exploring intersections between race and class as Michelle's story is co-opted and controlled by those around her. Jacqueline writes with a cool restraint and The Gosling Girl is a raw and powerful novel that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.
The Heaven& Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
Themes: Community, Race, Class, Love
In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighbourhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows.
As these characters' stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town's white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community-heaven and earth-that sustain us.
If I Don't Have You by Sareeta Domingo
Themes: Love at first sight, Career, Self-love, Sex
Afro-Brazilian filmmaker Ren is recovering from a romantic betrayal. Kayla is a Black British artist and journalist keen to make her mark. Thrown together during a string of interviews in New York for Ren's latest film, they're struck by an irresistible attraction. The two surrender to one night of searing honesty and passion, which leaves them with more questions than answers about the future. With secrets lurking between them, letting their romance continue could upend the separate lives Ren and Kayla have so carefully built. But can they really risk losing their miraculous connection?
Here Again Now by Okenchukwu Nzelu
Themes: Family, Father-son relationships, Love, Queerness
Achike Okoro feels like his life is coming together at last. His top-floor flat in Peckham is as close to home as he can imagine and after years of hard work, he's about to get his break as an actor. He's even persuaded his father, Chibuike, to move in with him, grateful to offer the man who raised him as a single parent a home of his own.
Between filming trips, Achike is snatching a few days in London with Ekene, his best friend of twenty years. Achike can put the terrible things that happened behind him at last.
But after a magical night, when Achike and Ekene come within a hair's breadth of admitting their feelings for each other, a devastating event rips all three men apart. In the aftermath, it is Ekene and Chibuike who must try to rebuild. And although they have never truly understood each other, grief may bring them both the peace and happiness they've been searching for.