We wrap up book news for our readers in our regular Book Digest segment with new books from João Melo, Sharma Taylor, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, and Bisi Adjapon.
Angola is Wherever I Plant My Field by João Melo
Publisher: Iskanchi Press
Publication Date: January 30, 2023
Where to find it: Iskanchi Press
João Melo, born in Luanda, is an author, journalist, and professor. He studied in Coimbra, Luanda, and Rio de Janeiro. He is a founder of the Angolan Writer ́s Association. He was a member of the parliament (1992-2017) and a minister of Angola (2017-2019). His works have been published in Angola, Portugal, Brazil, Italy and Cuba. A number of his writings have been translated into English, French, German, Arabic, and Chinese. He was awarded the 2009 Angola Arts and Culture National Prize in literature.
Angola is Wherever I Plant My Field
In this collection of eighteen humorous absurdist stories, Melo weaves together postmodernism, postcolonial realities and Angolan history, through an intrusive narrator and author. Angola is Wherever I plant My field will make the readers laugh as they reflect on life and society through stories set in Luanda, Haifa, America, and North-Korea.
What a Mother’s Love Don’t Teach You by Sharma Taylor
Publication Date: July 7, 2022
Where to find it: Virago Publishing.
Sharma Taylor is a Jamaican writer and lawyer living between Jamaica and Barbados. She holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, obtained on a Commonwealth Scholarship. Her short stories have been shortlisted three times for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and have won several prizes including the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Prize, Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize and the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize.
What a Mother’s Love Don’t Teach You
At eighteen years old, Dinah gave away her baby son to the rich couple she worked for before they left Jamaica. They never returned. She never forgot him. Eighteen years later, a young man comes from the US to Kingston. From the moment she sees him, Dinah never doubts – this is her son. What happens next will make everyone question what they know and where they belong. A powerful story of belonging, identity and inheritance, What a Mother’s Love Don’t Teach You brings together a blazing chorus of voices to evoke Jamaica’s ghetto, dance halls, criminal underworld and corrupt politics, at the beating heart of which is a mother’s unshakeable love for her son.
Relations An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Genre: Essay anthology
Where to find it: Harper Collins
Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is an American-Ghanaian writer of novels, short stories and a poet. She has written for AOL, Parenting Magazine, the Village Voice, Metro and Trace Magazine.
Relations An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices
A fresh and electrifying collection of stories, poems, and essays from across the African continent.
Many people in the world today see those who do not look like them, or who speak differently as being separate; as “other.” Relations challenges the human illusion of separation, illuminating the connections that link us all as humans, different though equal in every way.
In this powerful anthology, new and established storytellers reshape the narratives that restrict and subjugate, revealing the truth of our shared humanity despite differences such as language, identity, class, and gender. Edited by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Relations is a meeting place of perspectives, a profound meditation on the diversity of the Black experience in a post-Black Panther world. The essays, poetry, and stories included span format and genre; they address questions of culture and experience among communities across the globe—who we are, who we want to be, and what it means to navigate life in a Black body.
Relations is a vibrant, essential examination of being that elevates voices from different corners of the world. African and diaspora writers share in an urgent gathering of story, a place for contemplation and celebration of the deepest relations.
Daughter in Exile by Bisi Adjapon
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Genre: Novel, literary fiction
Where to find it: Harper Collins
Bisi Adjapon is the author of The Teller of Secrets (HarperCollins 2021), named a top 10/20 novel by The American Library Association, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Globe and Mail, Pop Sugar, Essence, and Ms Magazine. The short story version, Of Women and Frogs, was nominated for the Caine Prize for African Literature. Her second novel, Daughter of Exile, published January 31, 2023, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. It has been selected by Amazon Editors as best fiction literature, a must-read by Essence, The Root and Books-a-Million. Of Women and Frogs, whose short story version was published in McSweeney’s Quarterly and nominated for the Caine Prize. Her short story, The Return, was selected as part of an anthology featuring writings by Ama Ata Aidoo. Her writings have appeared in journals and newspapers including McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Washington Times, The Guardian, Aljazeera, New York Times, The Sun Magazine, Brittle Paper, Ake Review, Daily Graphic and Chicken Bones.
Daughter in Exile
The acclaimed author of The Teller of Secrets returns with a gut-wrenching, yet heartwarming, story about a young Ghanaian woman’s struggle to make a life in the US, and the challenges she must overcome. Lola is twenty-one, and her life in Senegal couldn’t be better. An aspiring writer and university graduate, she has a great job, a nice apartment, a vibrant social life, and a future filled with possibility. But fate disrupts her world when she falls for Armand, an American Marine stationed at the U.S. Embassy. Her mother, a high court judge in Ghana, disapproves of her choice, but nothing will stop Lola from boarding a plane for Armand and America. That fateful flight is only the beginning of an extraordinary journey; she has traded her carefree life in Senegal for the perilous position of an undocumented immigrant in 1990s America. Lola encounters adversity that would crush a less-determined woman. Her fate hangs on whether or not she’ll grow in courage to forge a different life from one she’d imagined, whether she’ll succeed in putting herself and family together again. Daughter in Exile is a hope-filled story about mother love, resilience, and unyielding strength.