“I needed to write a book that reflected reality”: A conversation with Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström

Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström's fiction debut—an award-winning Nigerian-Swedish travel photographer and writer living in Stockholm—is a striking story. A unique distillation of commercial and literary fiction that feels like a tragedy, In Every Mirror She’s Black is an unputdownable read many have called “the perfect book club book”. It is preceded by the 2018 Lowell Thomas Award winner Due North and the bestselling LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well. In this interview, Ákínmádé Åkerström talks freely about how In Every Mirror She’s Black upends mainstream ideas about Nordic society, her difficult journey to publication, and writing Black women.

Real and riveting, In Every Mirror She’s Black is the perfect read

Imagine the thrilling pacing of gripping genre fiction, the socio-political urgency of literary fiction and the sharp clarity of non-fiction, all thrown together to tell a story that has never been told before: the story of Black women in Sweden. Across class, career, and culture, Kemi, Brittany-Rae, and Muna experience Stockholm in vastly different ways relative to their Blackness but all three are, fundamentally, devastatingly lonely. Solitude is the real story of In Every Mirror She’s Black, a unique distillation of commercial and literary fiction that ultimately hits like a tragedy.