“I want the book to create space, especially psychic space in our imaginations”: A conversation with Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah cares about African women, sex, and sexuality. In 2009, she co-founded the award-winning blog, Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, with her best friend Makala Grant after an inspiring girls holiday in Ghana. Last summer, she published The Sex Lives of African Women. In this interview, Nana gives us her perspective on the book’s genesis, ethos, and her best book recommendations.

How Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah’s The Sex Lives of African Women will set you free

I started this brilliant book voraciously, stealing a few pages while waiting on the bus and a couple more when in line at the grocery store. I finished it hesitantly, unwilling to let go of the dear companionship it provided for a few days and return to solo living. The Sex Lives of African Women is a safe space: it is pure, unadulterated freedom, somehow magically distilled and transformed into a 304-page book.

“I’m writing the stories I need to write”: A conversation with Dean Atta

Dean Atta is a Greek-Cypriot Jamaican-British poet who was named one of the most influential LGBT people in Britain by the Independent on Sunday. Weaned on spoken word and online poetry culture, Dean rose to internet fame when he wrote a poem titled "I am Nobody's Nigger" following the death of Stephen Lawrence. On an early morning in late June, he is bright and bubbly, talking effusively about his writing and bouncing between topics with that palpable joy that is so characteristic of his work, particularly his debut novel, The Black Flamingo (2019).

The coming-of-age story of a Nigerian trans woman that will change you

The Death of Vivek Oji is primarily interested in all the ways that love manifests itself and how limited understandings of sexuality constrain a more expansive understanding of everything love can be. Akwaeke Emezi highlights the fallibility of social perception and the limits of what we think we know. As Sarah Neilson writes in her review for Lambda Literary, "the inheritance of reductive and harmful colonial structures of gender is a great arcing tragedy of the story."

Hari Ziyad’s debut memoir is a perfect blend of the personal and the political

Black Boy Out of Time is an eloquent and enlightening testament to the ways in which Black authors re-craft genre categories that are not truly interested in telling our stories. When Ziyad sat down to write it, that truth became quickly apparent. This memoir is essential because it dares to dream of a future that is not beholden to any of the systems and structures that many of us are afraid to transcend, even imaginatively.