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Our Diversity genre celebrates a wide range of inclusive narratives. It's about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin. As a team, we read widely and make sure that we offer intersectional representation in our book recommendations.
A provocative, engaging and absolutely fascinating novel about one woman’s decision to move from a struggling post communist Albania, to the complexity of America, after she has spent years living as a man. We join the intriguing Hana as she begins her journey, we ponder her decision to adopt a rare custom that allowed her to remain independent as Mark. We watch as her move offers her freedom, allows her choices; can she learn, grow, rediscover her voice? The eloquent yet simple writing style that accompanies this complicated subject matter highlights the contrasts in Hana’s two worlds. This is a stimulating, thought-provoking read that will pique your interest and leave you wanting to know much, much more. It’s worth noting that although there are two extreme obscenities on the first page, they are not littered throughout the rest of the book and do help set the scene. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'When the manuscript for Elvira Dones’ Sworn Virgin, in Clarissa Botsford’s translation, landed on our desks, a buzz went round the team. The subject matter is immediately gripping: young Albanian mountain woman takes a vow of chastity and lives as a man for fifteen years, then breaks vow and emigrates to the US, where she must learn to live as a woman again… Elvira Dones handles the topic with masterly care. She rejects all traces of sensationalism or showiness, opting instead to just get on with telling us the protagonist’s incredible story. With Dones’ straightforward style comes an absolute dedication to emotional honesty – and it was this that really cinched it for us. Sworn Virgin is a page-turner without any of the throwaway associations that term carries; Hana’s story stayed with us long after we first read it. This an important book, and one we’re proud to have published. ' Ana Fletcher - Editor, And Other Stories
September 2015 Book of the Month. Clever and touching, this is a book about love, trust and the reality of bringing up a family. As loveable, weary Joe tells his emotional story, you will find yourself alternately wanting to slap his self-pity then hug his remorse and regret. As his wife and children struggle to understand his actions, an occasional visit from a straight talking ghostly ex-girlfriend and three quirky yet regular guys from the Divorced Dads’ Club help to add a little humour and spirit to the mix. Gayle is able to take the everyday and help you view things from a different perspective, things that are immediately obvious are not necessarily as clear-cut as they would first seem. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
An often uncomfortable, overwhelming, yet impressively compelling read. ‘John Crow’s Devil’ originally published in 2005, is the debut novel of Marlon James, Man Booker prize winner for ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’. Apparently James’ debut was rejected 78 times before being published, and personally I had my doubts as I began to read, and yet, and yet… the further I read, the more I felt myself being consumed by this penetrating and provocative novel. Two men, two preachers, battle each other, two women choose sides, while the rest of the village follow the stronger man. An anonymous village voice occasionally comes to the fore, narrating, telling, explaining, speaking with a Jamaican dialect, sometimes using unknown words that somehow make themselves understood. The story weaves between the village voice, clearly, firmly setting the story in stone, yet unexpected words will make you stop and think in a sentence previously flowing like water. With images that burst into your minds eye, be prepared to be moved, perturbed and to feel your heart break, yet wonder at the power of this profound novel. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
This is a beautifully articulate and poignant novel, at times it maintains a discreet solitary distance from its own moving story, ensuring that as moments of realisation steal into your consciousness and understanding flows into your heart… they stay with you. The author spirals through time, teases history and suggests new beginnings. The story branches three ways, breathtakingly different, remote yet entwined, flowing together and unfurling heartbreaking moments of perception and compassion. The isolation of the characters is shocking, they do not encourage affection or intimacy, their story isn't neat, tidy, clean or explained, you are instead left to observe, to recognise and so find yourself jolted and shaken into awareness, sorrow and regret and yet somehow a fluttering of hope steals across the pages for a story yet untold. ’Wuthering Heights’ and the Bronte family are intrinsically linked to this story, if you haven't yet met Emily, Charlotte and Anne, your journey through ’The Lost Child’ will potentially introduce you to some new companions. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
June 2015 Debut of the Month. A powerful, penetrating and intensely different read that seizes your attention from the very first page. The author cleverly writes in the first person narrative in two different time frames, Maria has Asperger syndrome and we are held on the edge of a connection and understanding, yet allowed intimate access to her anxiety, fear and torment. As Maria questions her memory, her thoughts, her grasp on the present and past, a creeping sense of foreboding and fear settles across the pages. For much of the novel you are kept in the dark alongside Maria, which provokes and agitates your interest, suggestions are made then ripped away, suspicions are roused and then extinguished. This fascinating premise works, it leaves you wanting more; just who can be trusted and what is the truth? ~ Liz Robinson
You may have read this but it certainly deserves another read. It’s the sort of book that becomes more profound with each reading. It is quite simply brilliant, a tale of prejudices and injustice in small town America which should be part of everyone’s collection. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Comparison: J D Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), William Golding (Lord of the Flies), Joseph Heller (Catch 22).
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. Set against the backdrop of 1970s reggae culture, disco, sex and excess comes this remarkable re-imagining of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century. Michael Wood, Chair of the Man Booker judges, commented: ‘This book is startling in its range of voices and registers, running from the patois of the street posse to The Book of Revelation. It is a representation of political times and places, from the CIA intervention in Jamaica to the early years of crack gangs in New York and Miami. ‘It is a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about. It moves at a terrific pace and will come to be seen as a classic of our times.’ Click here to see a special hardback edition of this book. Click here to see John Crow's Devil by the same author. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. April 2015 MEGA Book of the Month. What a terrific and powerful book, I reckon it is her best yet. It covers race, adoption, rejection and even murder (or does it?). Our hero, Smithy, a black girl, white adopted parents, white long-term boyfriend, discovers her biological family in Brighton. Naturally there are secrets in the cupboard but you certainly don’t see the details coming. With a jealous and bitchy cousin and a demanding, and frankly most unpleasant ‘birth’ grandmother both making unreasonable requests, this is, as I’ve said, terrific, especially when the final twist hits you in the stomach.
With an introduction by Anne Enright Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award, a story of civil war and a family's unbreakable bond. How you see a country depends on whether you are driving through it, or live in it. How you see a country depends on whether or not you can leave it, if you have to. As the daughter of white settlers in war-torn 1970s Rhodesia, Alexandra Fuller remembers a time when a schoolgirl was as likely to carry a shotgun as a satchel. This is her story - of a civil war, of a quixotic battle with nature and loss, and of a family's unbreakable bond with the continent that came to define, scar and heal them. Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award in 2002, Alexandra Fuller's classic memoir of an African childhood is suffused with laughter and warmth even amid disaster. Unsentimental and unflinching, but always enchanting, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is the story of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.
We haven’t had a new Ben Okri for some five years so this is something of a celebration. Sadly it is not quite magical enough, not in the same league as his magnificent The Famished Road. Charmingly written with an authentically dreamlike quality in short sections, it sweeps you along with a group of people making a TV documentary about a journey to Arcadia, Greece, while actually going from Paris to Switzerland. Or are they? Nothing is certain in this book. There is a short, sharp section on meeting the devil which is outstanding and some beautiful descriptions of landscapes. A fine book but perhaps a little light for such a great author. P.S. - The Age of Magic was awarded the Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2014 but we still love it!
Our mission is to share book love and encourage reading for pleasure by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers find their next favourite book. Part of that mission includes promoting diversity through the authors, characters and books that we feature on the website.
Much like our Debut category has a variety of books from first-time authors, our Diverse Voices genre will highlight a wide range of Inclusive narratives.