Book Series

Black Britain: Writing Back

The Dancing Face

The Dancing Face

Author: Mike Phillips Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

A sensational, original thriller that examines the powerful link between identity, sacrifice and possession, and questions our compulsive need to chase after ambitions that leave devastation in their wake University lecturer Gus knows that stealing the priceless Benin mask, The Dancing Face, from a museum at the heart of the British establishment will gain an avalanche of attention. Which is exactly what he wants. But such a risky theft will also inevitably capture the attention of characters with more money, more power, and fewer morals. Naively entangling his loved ones in his increasingly dangerous pursuit of righteous reparation, is Gus prepared for what it will cost him? Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

The Fat Lady Sings

The Fat Lady Sings

Author: Jacqueline Roy Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

A groundbreaking novel exploring the intersection between race, class and mental health in the UK 'That is the glory of being a mental patient. Nothing is impossible.' It is the 1990s, and Gloria is living in a London psychiatric ward. She is unapologetically loud, audacious and eternally on the brink of bursting into song. After several months of uninterrupted routine, she is joined by another young black woman - Merle - who is full of silences and fear. Unable to confide in their doctors, they agree to journal their pasts. Whispered into tape recorders and scrawled ferociously at night, the remarkable stories of their lives are revealed. In this tender, deeply-moving depiction of mental health, Roy creates a striking portrait of two women finding strength in their shared vulnerability, as they navigate a system that fails to protect them. Life-affirming and fearlessly hopeful, this is an unforgettable story. 'This is a novel of daring - enjoyable, surprising and original.' Bernardine Evaristo

Incomparable World

Incomparable World

Author: S. I. Martin Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

A visceral reimagining of 1780s London, showcasing the untold stories of African-American soldiers grappling with their post-war freedom In the years just after the American revolution, London was the unlikely refuge for thousands of black Americans who fought for liberty on the side of the British. Buckram, Georgie and William have earned their freedom and escaped their American oppressors, but on the streets of London, poverty awaits with equal cruelty. Ruthless, chaotic and endlessly evolving, London forces them into a life of crime, and a life on the margins. Their only hope for a better future is to concoct a scheme so daring, it will be a miracle if it pays off. Bursting with energy and vivid detail, Incomparable World boldly uncovers a long-buried narrative of black Britain. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Without Prejudice

Without Prejudice

Author: Nicola Williams Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'Impressive and unique. As relevant today as it was over two decades go' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction A gripping, propulsive courtroom thriller following barrister Lee Mitchell as she uncovers the dark secrets of London's obscenely rich Lee Mitchell is a thirty-year-old barrister from a working-class Caribbean background: in the cut-throat environment of the courtroom, everything is stacked against her. After she takes on the high-profile case of notorious millionaire playboy Clive Omartian - arrested along with his father and stepbrother for eye-wateringly exorbitant fraud - the line between her personal and professional life becomes dangerously blurred. Spiralling further into Clive's trail of debauchery and corruption, she finds herself in alarmingly deep waters. Can she survive her case, let alone win it? Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Bernard and the Cloth Monkey

Bernard and the Cloth Monkey

Author: Judith Bryan Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

WINNER OF THE SAGA PRIZE 1997: a literary award for trailblazing new Black British novelists 'A quietly outstanding work of fiction . . . an exemplary novel' Bernardine Evaristo A shattering portrayal of family, guilt and unshakable bonds as a family's deepest secrets explosively unravel When Anita finally returns home to London after a long absence, everything has changed. Her father is dead, her mother is away, and she and her sister Beth are alone together for the first time in years. They share a house. They share a family. They share a past. Tentatively, they reach out to one another for connection, but the house echoes with words unspoken. Dazzling and heart-breaking, Bernard and the Cloth Monkey is a searing portrait of family, a rebellion against silence and a testament to the human capacity for survival. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Minty Alley

Minty Alley

Author: C.L.R. James Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2021

The only novel from the world-renowned writer C.L.R. James - this extraordinary, big-hearted exploration of class was the first novel by a black West Indian to be published in the UK 'A novel written nearly a hundred years ago that brings the past alive with such charm, vitality and humour.' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction 'As he walked home he looked up at the myriads of stars, shining in the moonlight. Did people live there? And if they did, what sort of life did they live?' It is the 1920s in the Trinidadian capital, and Haynes' world has been upended. His mother has passed away, and his carefully mapped-out future of gleaming opportunity has disappeared with her. Unable to afford his former life, he finds himself moving into Minty Alley - a bustling barrack yard teeming with energy and a spectacular cast of characters. In this sliver of West Indian working-class society, outrageous love affairs and passionate arguments are a daily fixture, and Haynes begins to slip from curious observer to the heart of the action. Minty Alley is a gloriously observed portrayal of class, community and the ways in which we are all inherently connected. An undisputed modern classic, this is an exceptional story told by one of the twentieth century's greatest Caribbean thinkers. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Sequins for a Ragged Hem

Sequins for a Ragged Hem

Author: Amryl Johnson Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Sequins for a Ragged Hem narrates Johnson's return tour to Trinidad as a spiritual homecoming made problematic, among other reasons, by the fact that the house where she was born had been demolished. Amryl Johnson came to England from Trinidad when she was eleven. In 1983 she set off for a six month journey in the Caribbean. From the moment she steps off the plane into 'carnival fever', we are caught up in the excitement of her journey: her reunion with her mother, the exhilaration of dancing all night to calypso on the streets of Port-of-Spain . . . But she cannot escape, nor wants to, from the inheritance of colonialism. Her time in the Caribbean is also a journey of the self. The quest for memory is as powerful as the desire to escape. As her trip draws to a close, she describes with courage and eloquence her attempts to reunite the selves that have been separated by different cultures.

A Black Boy at Eton

A Black Boy at Eton

Author: Dillibe Onyeama Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

'The story [Onyeama] had to tell was so gripping and shocking, it wouldn't let me go . . . A remarkably well-written memoir.' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction Dillibe was the second black boy to study at Eton - joining in 1965 - and the first to complete his education there. Written at just 21, this is a deeply personal, revelatory account of the racism he endured during his time as a student at the prestigious institution. He tells in vivid detail of his own background as the son of a Nigerian judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, of his arrival at the school, of the curriculum, of his reception by other boys (and masters), and of his punishments. He tells, too, of the cruel racial prejudice and his reactions to it, and of the alienation and stereotyping he faced at such a young age. A Black Boy at Eton is a searing, ground-breaking book displaying the deep psychological effects of colonialism and racism. A title in the Black Britain: Writing Back series - selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

My Fathers' Daughter

My Fathers' Daughter

Author: Hannah Azieb Pool, Bernardine Evaristo Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

A powerful, intimate memoir of Eritrean-British journalist, Hannah Azieb-Pool, who returns to Eritrea at the age of 30 to meet her family for the first time 'What a story. So vivid, honest and moving' Andrea Levy, author of Small Island 'When I stepped off the plane in Asmara, I had no idea what lay ahead, or how those events would change me . . .' In her twenties, Hannah-Azieb Pool is given a letter that unravels everything she knows about her life. She knew she was adopted from an orphanage in Eritrea, and as her adoptive family brought her to the UK, they believed she did not have any surviving relatives. When she discovers the truth in a letter from her brother - that her birth father is alive and her Eritrean family are desperate to meet her - she is faced with a critical choice. Should she go? In this intimate memoir, she takes us with her on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery, as she travels to Eritrea to uncover her own story. With radiant warmth, courage and wisdom, Hannah-Azieb disentangles the charged concepts of identity, family and home. Featuring a new introduction from Bernardine Evaristo and an updated afterword from the author, this is a timeless, essential read. 'Remarkable' Observer Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books from black Britain and the diaspora, which remap the nation and reframe our history.

Growing Out

Growing Out

Author: Barbara Blake Hannah Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

'A gorgeously exuberant account. . . writing that is natural and vivacious . . . a fascinating and hugely enjoyable read.' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction Travelling over from Jamaica as a teenager, Barbara's journey is remarkable. She finds her footing in TV, and blossoms. Covering incredible celebrity stories, travelling around the world and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Germaine Greer and Michael Caine - her life sparkles. But with the responsibility of being the first black woman reporting on TV comes an enormous amount of pressure, and a flood of hateful letters and complaints from viewers that eventually costs her the job. In the aftermath of this fallout, she goes through a period of self-discovery that allows her to carve out a new space for herself first in the UK and then back home in Jamaica - one that allows her to embrace and celebrate her black identity, rather than feeling suffocated in her attempts to emulate whiteness and conform to the culture around her. Growing Out provides a dazzling, revelatory depiction of race and womanhood in the 1960s from an entirely unique perspective. A title in the Black Britain: Writing Back series - selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Britons Through Negro Spectacles

Britons Through Negro Spectacles

Author: ABC Merriman-Labor Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

'We shall therefore confine our walk to Central London where people meet on business during the day, and to West London where they meet for pleasure at night. If you will walk about the first City in the British Empire arm in arm with Merriman-Labor, you are sure to see Britons in merriment and at labour, by night and by day, in West and Central London.' In Britons Through Negro Spectacles Merriman-Labor takes us on a joyous, intoxicating tour of London at the turn of the 20th century. Slyly subverting the colonial gaze usually placed on Africa, he introduces us to the citizens, culture and customs of Britain with a mischievous glint in his eye. This incredible work of social commentary feels a century ahead of its time, and provides unique insights into the intersection between empire, race and community at this important moment in history. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.