We wrap up book news for our readers in our Book Digest feature. Today our focus is books from Anja Saleh, TL Huchu, and P Djeli Clark.
The Future of Memory, Anja Saleh
Anja Saleh, trained in a political and social sciences, is an educator, artist and poet. In her writing she re-explores spirituality, trauma, love and home as individually formable concepts and questions the very context in which she was taught the meaning of most of what she knows today.
Anja Saleh lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Soon, The Future of Memory
Soon, The Future Of Memory, the first full-length poetry collection by Anja Saleh, is a hopeful and vulnerable portrayal of the life of a German woman of African descent. An odyssey from mere acceptance to reimagining and rethinking definitions of Africanness, Arabness and Blackness and the perceived self in a modern context.
The Library of the Dead, TL Huchu
T.L. Huchu has been published previously (as Tendai Huchu) in the adult market, but The Library of the Dead is his genre fiction debut. His previous books (The Hairdresser of Harare and The Maestro, The Magistrate and the Mathematician) have been translated into multiple languages and his short fiction has won awards.
Tendai grew in up Zimbabwe but has lived in Edinburgh for most of his adult life.
The Library of the Dead
Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu’s The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.
When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
When ghosts talk, she will listen…Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down.
The Female Fear Factory, Pumla Dineo Gqola
Pumla Dineo Gqola
Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist author and Research Professor at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. She is author What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2010), A renegade called Simphiwe (2013) Rape: A South African Nightmare (2015), which won the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, and Reflecting Rogue: Inside the mind of a feminist (2017). Gqola holds Master’s degrees from the Universities of Cape Town (RSA) and University of Warwick (UK) and a DPhil in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich (Germany). Her research and teaching fields include postcolonial theory, feminist theory and literature, Black Consciousness literature, gender discourse in post-apartheid South Africa and slave memory in the African world. She sits on various academic journal boards, including African Identities, Feminist Africa, English Academy Review and Women’s Studies International. She has written op-eds, features and columns for New Frame, City Press, Mail and Guardian, Drum (UK), Chimurenga, Wordsetc, The Africa Report and BBC Focus on Africa magazine. Her short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies on three continents.
The Female Fear Factory
“Patriarchy does not respect national boundaries. It is unabashedly promiscuous in its influences and tethers. Yet, it does use nationalism very productively.”
An empty street at night. A crowded bus. A lecture hall. All sites of female fear, instilled in women and those who have been constructed female, from an early age.
Drawing on examples from around the world – from Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa to Saudi Arabia, the Americas and Europe, Gqola traces the construction and machinations of the female fear factory by exposing its lies, myths, and seductions. She shows how seemingly disparate effects, like driving bans, street harassment, and coercive professors, are the product of the ever-turning machinery of the female fear factory, and its use of fear as a tool of patriarchal subjugation and punishment.
Female Fear Factory: Gender and Patriarchy under Racial Capitalism is a sobering account of patriarchal violence in the world, and a hopeful vision for the work of unapologetic feminist imaginative strategies across the globe.
A Master of Djinn P Djeli Clark
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Genre: Historical fantasy
Where to find it: Amazon
P Djeli Clark
P Djéli Clark is the award winning and Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy nominated author of the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth and Clockwork Cairo. He is a founding member of FIYAH Literary Magazine and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons. You can also read his ramblings on SFF, history, & diversity at his aptly named blog, The Disgruntled Haradrim.
A Master of Djinn
Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.
So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world forty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.
Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a familiar person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city―or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems…