by Amy Baxter, Editor
As you may have heard, yesterday was 'Super Thursday', with 600 books being published in one day! Though every September has it's own 'Super Thursday' in the lead up to Christmas gifting season, this has been brought to an extreme this year with so many incredible releases. To help you navigate this incredible collection, we're bringing you Bad Form's favourite 9 releases by Black, Asian, and marginalised community (POC) authors this week!
In no particular order, we have:
Black Spartacus, Sudhir Hazareesingh (Allen Lane, £25)
Clearly one of the most beautiful covers of Super Thursday, Harazeesingh's book documents the life of the great slave leader, military genius and revolutionary hero Toussaint Louverture. After the abolition of slavery in 1793, Toussaint Louverture, himself a former slave, became the leader of the colony's black population, the commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. During the course of his extraordinary life he confronted some of the dominant forces of his age - slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. A history book we should all take interest in.
Nadiya Bakes, Nadiya Hussain (Penguin Michael Joseph, £22)
Everyone's favourite baker is back with over 100 recipes for baking! With everything from marshmallow-stuffed-pull-apart cakes, to savoury bakes, there really is something in here for everyone. I can testify to the wonderfulness of the brownies - they were wiped out in one morning!
New Daughters of Africa, ed. Margaret Busby (Myriad Editions, £14.99)
Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby put together the original New Daughters of Africa. Now, this landmark anthology celebrates the work of 200 women writers of African descent and charts a literary landscape as never before. Published to international acclaim in 2019 (including from Bad Form) it is now available in a beautifully produced paperback. It is truly one of the greatest anthologies ever produced.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong (VINTAGE, £8.99)
Marlon James called this book 'A marvel', and he was not wrong. Out now in paperback, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born. It tells of Vietnam, of the lasting impact of war, and of his family’s struggle to forge a new future. You can read our interview with author Ocean Vuong here in the meantime.
Who They Was, Gabriel Krauze (Fourth Estate, £11.99)
Likened among other things to the hit show Top Boy, Krauze's debut has been eagerly awaited by many since making its way onto the Longlist for the Booker Prize 2020. Pitched as "a story of a London you won’t find in any guidebooks", Who They Was is a beautiful literary novel founded in Krauze's experience of London. Krauze is definitely one to watch.
Red Pill, Hari Kunzru (Scribner, £14.99)
From the bestselling author of White Tears (what a title), comes Red Pill, a breathtaking, state-of-the-world novel about one man’s struggle to defend his values and create a reality free from the shadows of the past. Red Pill is a novel about the alt-right, online culture, creativity, sanity and history. It tells the story of the 21st century through the prism of the centuries that preceded it, showing how the darkest chapters of our past haunt our present. Prescient, and beautifully told, it is a book for our times.
Fattily Ever After, Stephanie Yeboah, (Hardie Grant Books, £12.99)
Fattily Ever After is the full colour, unapologetic guide to living life unapologetically. Yeoboah has been incredibly upfront about the racism and fat-shaming she has faced, and in this guide the body-positivity campaigner and blogger maps her own journey to self-acceptance. A beautiful salute to the Black women who founded the body positivity movement, this is a fun book that we can all learn from.
Azadi, Arundhati Roy (Penguin, £6).
From the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness comes a collection of essays that challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism. The chant of 'Azadi!' - Urdu for 'Freedom!' - is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism. Roy questions what freedom really is, and, in the present, these essays could not feel any more timely.
Dead Girls, Selva Almada trns. Annie McDermott (Charco Press, £8.99)
Almada narrates the case of three small-town teenage girls murdered in the 1980s; three unpunished deaths that occurred even before the word femicide was even coined. In this brutal but necessary novel, Almada brings to the fore these crimes committed at a time when Argentina was celebrating the return of democracy. Three deaths without culprits: Selva Almada takes these tales to weave together a portrait of gender violence that surpasses national borders and speaks to readers worldwide. Femicide is not an uplifting topic, but this is a necessary book.