The Booker-nominated Black Moses is a damning portrait of 80s Congo-Brazzaville

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, Alain Mabanckou’s Black Moses zeroes in on corruption in late 1970s Congo-Brazzaville. In this cynical coming-of-age story, Mabanckou changes the narrative by troubling what is expected of the bildungsroman. Straddling an array of themes like orphan suffering, governmental corruption, and mental health in a seedy setting, this tale of endearing novice gangsters and charming sex workers offers a refreshing take on the well-worn tropes of urban fiction.

OPEN WATER: An ethereal meditation on Black love and art

In this slow and steady tale of Black love, we experience the world through the eyes of a young Londoner whose relationship buckles under the excruciating pressure occasioned by being a Black man in a white supremacist world that wants you dead. But don’t let generic phrases like black love fool you: this is also a novel about photography, mental health, pain, joy, music, vulnerability, and ultimately salvation.