Bernardine Evaristo cuts her teeth on a fun verse novel

The Emperor's Babe is an irreverent and salacious romp that merges together tradition and contemporaneity in a startlingly unique way. Published almost 20 years before Girl, Woman, Other and four years before the similarly daring Blonde Roots, The Emperor’s Babe offers a distinctively different Evaristo. When not slyly winking at the reader who is equal parts befuddled and delighted, this Evaristo reveals the years of genre waywardness it took to mould her distinctive brand of literary experimentation for popular success.

Clap When You Land is a fierce verse novel based on the other 2001 plane crash

Clap When You Land tells the story of two unwitting sisters—Camino in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira in New York—who learn of each other’s existence and their father’s secret double life when he dies in a tragic plane crash. From the colourful houses of the Dominican Republic to the boroughs of New York, this 400-page rich landscape of considered and crafted verse feels majestic in its scope as it covers everything from colourism to how loss makes space for gain.