Posts tagged literature

Representation Matters

Diversity in children’s books is a real problem. Here are a couple of statistics for you, courtesy of The Bookseller: 32.1% of pupils of compulsory school age in England are of minority ethnic origins. Only 4% of all the children’s books published in the UK last year featured a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) character. And then, the other day, I was going through this summer’s Amnesty magazine and discovered this article by poet Charlie Dark, in which he talks about his experience of growing up in London and… Read More

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

I read this book back in the spring, before it got shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and got a fair bit of attention. But, as you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been blogging very regularly, so I’m only writing about it now. What I liked about Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was the way it explored the contrast between the internal and external life of its main character. We all have an internal life, don’t we? A set of memories and desires and fantasies that often don’t bear much… Read More

Under the Tripoli Sky by Kamal Ben Hameda

Peirene Press is known for publishing contemporary European literature in translation, but its latest offering takes us a little further afield, to Tripoli in the 1960s. Author Kamal Ben Hameda lives in Holland and writes in French, but this novella is set squarely in the Libya of his youth. As a child growing up in England in the 1980s, the only time I ever heard about Libya was in news stories about Colonel Gaddafi. These days the news stories are different, but still it’s a country I know very little about beyond… Read More