• Lists

    April, May, June 2020: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    A new quarter is starting tomorrow and I think most of you share the feeling that the first one of this year has been going on forever… But here we are now and persumably the next three months will be pretty taxing aswell. Of course, there are always books for some comfort, for learning, for getting engaged. As quite a few books’ release dates have been pushed to later this year (or even next year) due to the current crisis, I have double-checked all of the books I feature … but change fast. April Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement (Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha und Ejeris Dixon)…

  • Lists

    January, February, March 2020: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    Here we are again: Finally, I put together my list with most-anticipated books for the first three months of 2020. I am very much excited for all the books listed (and I am also excited to still discover books I don’t know of yet). I share brief descriptions of the book (either from Goodreads or the publisher’s page, sometimes abridged) and in a few words why I am excited about this book in particular! January The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir (E. J. Koh) Synopsis: “After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh’s parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her…

  • Discussion

    Why I Don’t Read White Men And You Do Not Need To Either

    The new year is barely four days old and it is still that time of the year in which people think about their New Year’s resolution. (Hopefully) Many readers might say to themselves that in 2020 they really need to read “more diversely”. I am not a fan of the term itself – though this would warrant a blog post of its own – but basically it is a shorthand for reading more books by historically marginalized authors, especially BIPoC authors. Some might go so far and vow to not read white men at all. If you are out here on the Internet stating either of these things you might…

  • Lists

    My Best Books 2019

    When I think about my reading year 2019, I first and foremost think about big, big books. For someone whose general preference lies with shorter books (250 pages just seems pretty ideal), I did pick up a lot of books going on 400 pages and far beyond – and in a lot of cases, I did love these books. Altogether I read more than 180 books in 2019 and picking favourites was not easy at all. So instead of forcing myself to cut my list down to a top ten or any other arbitrary number, I give you these assortments of lists with books which moved me, taught me something,…

  • Interview

    Podcast #10: Panashe Chigumadzi

    Panashe Chigumadzi is an essayist and novelist. Her first novel, Sweet Medicine, was published in 2015 (Blackbird Books) and won the K. Sello Duiker Literary Award in 2016. In 2018 her second book These Bones Will Rise Again was published as the first book of The Indigo Press. She is the founding editor of Vanguard magazine, a platform for young black women coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa, and a contributing editor to Johannesburg Review of Books. Panashe has written for several outlets and she was also the curator of the inaugural Abantu Book Festival in South Africa. Her writing is also included in the New Daughters of Africa anthology.…

  • Interview

    Podcast #9: Ayesha Harruna Attah

    Ayesha Harruna Attah is the writer of three novels. Her debut novel, Harmattan Rain, was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Africa Region. Her most recent novel, The Hundred Wells of Salaga, is a wonderful historical novel set in pre-colonial Ghana following two women whose fates intersect. This novel has been translated into several languages already. Her writing is also included in the grand New Daughters of Africa anthology. In this episode recorded during the African Book Festival Berlin, we talk about the making of The Hundred Wells of Salaga, the joys of research and the difficult task to decide what to keep out, what kind of history we are…

  • Lists

    October, November, December: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    October and November are brimfull with exciting releases and that’s why I focussed on these two months and less in December. But these two month have everything from stimulating theory over captivating memoirs to wonderfully strange stories. Like always, I share brief descriptions of each book (either from Goodreads or the publisher’s page, sometimes abridged) and in a few words why I am excited about it! I introduce my five top picks for each month and name a few additional titles because there are just so many promising books. October Ordinary Girls (Jaquira Díaz) Synopsis: Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author.…

  • Interview

    Podcast #8: Safia Elhillo

    Safia Elhillo is an award-winning poet who performs regularly and whose writing has been published in various journals and anthologies, the New Daugthers of Africa anthology just being one of the latest one. In 2016, her chapbook Asmarani was included in the New Generation African Poets Box Set. Her debut collection The January Children, was published in 2017 and won the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. In 2018, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her latest book is the anthology Halal If You Hear Me. The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3 which she co-edited with Fatimah Asghar. In this episode (recorded…

  • Interview

    Podcast #7: Zeba Talkhani

    Zeba Talkhani’s memoir My Past is a Foreign Country: A Muslim Feminist Finds Herself was published at the end of June and received blurbs by writers such as Meena Kandasamy and Ironesen Okojie. One of her previous essays, “The Difficulty in Being Good”, was part of the anthology Nasty Women. A Collection of Essays + Accounts On What It Is To Be A Woman In The 21st Century. In 2016 Zeba hosted Muslim Women Speak in London, “a micro-festival of interactive sessions curated, chaired and presented exclusively by Muslim women.” She has earned a degree in publishing and currently works as a production editor at Bloomsbury Academic. In this episode, we talk…

  • Interview

    Podcast #6: Leslie Kuo

    Leslie Kuo describes herself on her website as “a librarian, a designer, a translator, and both a first and second generation immigrant”. Currently she works at the Berlin-Pankow Public Library District. She is part of the management team and responsible for a programme on ‘intercultural opening’ (a term we discuss within the podcast). For her thesis, Kuo interviewed library staff with ‘immigration background’ in Berlin and analysed their experiences. Kuo is also a member of the International Federation of Libraries and Associations where she is the information coordinator of the section “Library Services to Multicultural Populations”. In our conversation we discussed different aspects of how to create a library which…