September Book Shelf
Zadie Smith - The Fraud The author of highly acclaimed ‘White Teeth’ returns with a brand new novel, The Fraud. The Fraud is Smith’s first historical novel, telling the story of Kilburn in 1873. Scottish housekeeper Mrs Eliza Touchet is captivated by The 'Tichborne Trial', as is all of England who are at odds over whether the defendant is who he claims to be - or an imposter. Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her novelist cousin and his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects England of being a land of façades, in which nothing is quite what it seems. Andrew Bogle meanwhile finds himself the star witness, his future depending on telling the right story. Growing up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica, he knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise. Purchase here Kelechi Okafor - Edge of Here Edge of Here marks Okafor’s debut collection, which tackles contemporary womanhood. Okafor combines the ancient and the ultramodern to explore tales of contemporary Black womanhood, asking questions about the way we live now and offering a glimpse into our near future. Uplifting, thought-provoking, sometimes chilling, these are tales rooted in the recognisable, but not limited by the boundaries of our current reality-where truth can meet imagination and spirituality in unexpected ways. Purchase here Aleema Omotoni - Everyone's Thinking It Within the walls of Wodebury Hall, reputation is everything. But aspiring photographer Iyanu is more comfortable observing things safely from behind her camera. For Iyanu’s estranged cousin Kitan, life seems perfect. But as a Nigerian girl in a school as white and insular as Wodebury, Kitan struggles with the personal sacrifices needed to keep her place – and the protection she gets – within the exclusive popular crowd. Then, photos from Iyanu’s camera are stolen and splashed across the school – each with a juicy secret written on it. With everyone’s dirty laundry suddenly out in the open, the school explodes in chaos, and the whispers accusing Iyanu of being the one behind it all start to feel like déjà vu. Each girl is desperate to unravel the mystery of who stole the photos and why. But exposing the truth will change them all forever. Purchase here Okwiri Oduor - Things They Lost Set in the fictional Kenyan town of Mapeli, Things They Lost tells the story of four generations of women, each haunted by the mysterious curse that hangs over the Brown family. At the heart of the novel is Ayosa Ataraxis Brown, twelve years old and the loneliest girl in the world. Purchase here Elvin Mensah - Small Joys Harley is a young queer Black man struggling to find his way in mid-noughties Britain. Returning home to Dartford, having just dropped out of an undergraduate course in music journalism, he is wracked by feelings of failure and inadequacy. Standing in the local woods one day, on the verge of doing something drastic and irreversible, his hand is stayed by a stranger: a tall husky guy who emerges from the bushes holding a pair of binoculars. Muddy is an ebullient Mancunian whose lust for his own life makes others feel better by association. A keen birdwatcher, rugby fanatic and Oasis obsessive, he quickly becomes a devoted and loyal friend to Harley who finds his enthusiasm infectious and his dimples irresistible. In no time at all, they become inseparable. Harley starts to think that life may be worth living after all, while Muddy discovers things about himself that the lads down the rugby club may struggle to understand. But when figures from the past threaten to plunge Harley back into the depths of depression, his only hope of survival is Muddy and the small joys they create together. Purchase here Tomi Oyemakinde - The Changing Man When Ife joins Nithercott School through its prestigious Urban Achievers Program, she knows immediately that she doesn't fit. Wandering its echoing halls, she must fend off cruel taunts from the students and condescending attitudes from the teachers. When she finds herself thrown into detention for the foreseeable future, she strikes up an unlikely alliance with Ben, a troublemaker with an annoyingly cute smile. They've both got reasons to want to get out of Nithercott - Ben's brother is missing, and no one seems to be bothering to find him. Purchase here Rachel Runya Katz - Thank You for Sharing The last time Daniel Rosenberg and Liyah Cohen-Jackson spoke to each other was as teenagers, sharing a first kiss. But when the path of young love didn’t run smooth, and Liyah found her heart bruised by Daniel, they parted ways forever… until they are seated together on an aeroplane fourteen years later, butting heads just as badly but consoling themselves that at least they will never have to see each other again. Purchase here Arusa Qureshi - Flip the Script Flip The Script explores many of the phenomenal women who have paved the way in UK hip hop both at the forefront and behind the scenes, through interviews, research and Qureshi's lifelong love of the form. From the influence of the genre's beginnings in the Bronx to formation of distinctive regional scenes across the country, the barriers women faced to the magazines and club nights that fostered thriving hip hop communities, readers get to know the women who led the charge in one of the country's most innovative and exciting music scenes, and those picking up the torch today. This is a love letter to UK hip hop, and to the women changing the game. Purchase here
From new Zadie Smith to Kelechi Okafor's debut collection. The Floor Mag's September Book Shelf is here.