Books

In Nadia Owusu’s memoir Aftershocks, life experiences are like earthquakes. Fault lines break open around the loss of her beloved father, her mother’s abandonment, all the places around the globe she’s lived, the blue rocking chair she hoisted from the street and can’t get out of. Her compact, variously ordered recollections are set in myriad countries due to her father’s job with the United Nations, although both her parents were gone by the time she reached her teens. All the while, Owusu relies on her...
Girl, gurl, grrrl. Three words that represent, according to Kenya Hunt, the “unique love language between Black women, regardless of age.” These terms of endearment acknowledge the shared experiences of Black women, and Hunt’s first essay collection does the same, zig-zagging between merry dispatches from the U.K. premiere of Black Panther to the frustrating realities of renting an Airbnb while Black to the surprising religious alienation of Aretha Franklin’s funeral. The book’s epilogue leaves the American journalist living in London questioning the online eulogies of George...
Standup comedian and Netflix queen Michelle Buteau (from The Circle and Welcome to Buteaupia) delivers a debut essay collection with Survival of the Thickest that’ll have readers cackling devilishly one minute, then ugly-crying the next. Her off-the-cuff, pop-culture-laced humor translates seamlessly from the stage onto the page. While reading, one almost feels like she’s sitting right there, sharing how she unknowingly got roped into emceeing a janky-ass amateur male stripper night in a dive bar in Rochester. Yep, that happened. And while there are...
When author Ijeoma Oluo, 39, went to a women’s writing retreat to pen the follow-up to her 2018 bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, she found inspiration in the discussions the other women were having about the career struggles they faced. Oluo realized that their experiences all had one common denominator: they had all been manipulated, dominated, and harassed by privileged white men. And in the resulting book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America (out December 1), she discusses how this...
Kimberly Drew (left) and Jenna Wortham Now more than ever, the world needs cultural projects that nourish the Black soul. Born out of this deep craving, author and art curator Kimberly Drew and her friend and collaborator Jenna Wortham—staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the podcast Still Processing—have created a stunning new visual anthology, Black Futures, out December 1. The book is a compendium of images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more, collected from over 100 contributors over...
After many years of requests for better representation in comics, comics are continuing to diversify and open more doors for women, on and off the page — and Young Adult fiction could be a big contributing factor. Just this week, DC Comics announced Marie Javins as the new Editor-in-Chief of the entire company. Javins will be responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of the company’s publishing schedule to grow all DC imprints. One imprint that has been incredibly successful in attracting female readership and providing more...
Danielle Evans’ new novella and collection of stories reads like a prescient letter from a brutally honest friend with her finger on the pulse of an ailing culture. Each story bristles with the author’s signature wit and precision. Her narrators engage in a constant struggle to be seen as “real people” despite possessing many trappings of privilege. In “Happily Ever After” a woman dresses with care before a hospital consult so that she may resemble “a person whose mother deserved to live.” In the titular...
There’s a lot to learn from entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host Meredith Fineman. She recently released her first book, Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self-Promotion (Penguin Random House), a bestselling guide to self-advocacy. Aside from this book, Fineman founded and is the CEO of FinePoint, a leadership and professional development company that elevates individuals, from young professionals to CEOs, by helping women utilize and understand public relation tactics. Over a Zoom call, Fineman and I talked about the art of self-promotion, book touring during a pandemic, and...
Lauren Paige Richeson is a chef based in France who started her career at Project Parlor in Bed-Stuy, but her newest project is all about one of the most talked-about foods of the 2010s: the mighty avocado! Hailed as the ultimate millennial fuel and the reason young people can’t afford to buy houses, Richeson’s Avocado Obsession is filled with creative and easy recipes that go beyond your typical avo toast. Richeson got her start by recreating recipes from restaurants that she wanted to try but...
Getting to Center: Pathways to Finding Yourself Within the Great UnknownBy Marlee Grace(William Morrow & Company) Marlee Grace first danced into our social media feeds (and straight into our hearts) back in 2015 on her Instagram account @personalpractice, a daily documentation of Grace dancing in different environments. The simple yet inspiring project stood out as a gem in the emotional minefield that is social media by creating a space for vulnerability and openness. Grace uses this same approach on her personal account, @marleegrace, where she shares personal anecdotes...