“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.

“This book was the way to offer a kind of solidarity”: A conversation with Emmanuel Iduma

It may seem odd, but Emmanuel Iduma does not see A Stranger’s Pose as experimental: “experimenting meant that failure was allowed…I hope [when writing a book] to do something that could be considered fitting at least and to some degree successful.” A combination of forms and styles, A Stranger's Pose is a dreamy travelogue and memoir through west and north Africa that explores the nature of estrangement, identity and grief among other things. In this interview, I speak to Emmanuel about the book's ideas and diverse influences as he prepares for next year's publication of his new work, a memoir, I Am Still With You.

Meet Mocha Girls Read: A Q&A with founder, Alysia Allen

Mocha Girls Read is a book club for Black women who love to read, want to read more and meet like-minded women. Though they are based in the Los Angeles area, they meet monthly in 13 cities across the US. In this interview, Alysia tells us more about Mocha Girls Read and shares advice for those working in book communities centered on diversity.

“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.

“I grew up obsessed with this alternate version of myself”: A conversation with Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo is an award-winning Sudanese-American contemporary poet and Stanford University Fellow. Author of The January Children (2017), Home is Not a Country (2021), Girls That Never Die (forthcoming), and co-editor of anthology Halal If You Hear Me (2019), her work has been recognised internationally for its originality of form and capacity for tenderness. In this interview, Safia speaks to us about the inspiration behind Home is Not a Country, her roots, and writing a world that reflects the one she grew up in.