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In Every Mirror She's Black Paperback – 30 August 2022

4.3 out of 5 stars 145 ratings

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Product description


'A sharply written story with messy, deeply moving characters, raising brutal questions and steering clear of easy answers. A book that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page' -- Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six

'These characters will pull at your heartstrings. Lọlá writes with a contemporary flair, highlighting the layered subtleties of the Black woman's plight' -- Nicole Dennis-Benn, bestselling author of novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy

'A sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood. Timely and terrific!' -- Deesha Philyaw, award-winning author of The Secret Life of Church Ladies

'This is a very different and unpredictable portrayal of Black women's search for love and self, and it's pure magic' -- Kim Golden, author of Maybe Baby

'At once enjoyable and disturbing as it explores the painful price millions of women around the world pay for walking around with black skin' -- Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

'Captivating. Åkerström describes what it is to be an ambitious black woman in today's world. The story of Kemi, Muna and Brittany-Rae – black women hoping to start anew in a society that does not see them – is a story for these times, and their fate is a stark reminder that the seaweed isn't always greener in somebody else's lake' -- Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street

A striking debut... As entertaining as it is revealing, Åkerström's novel has readers hoping that each of these women is able to break free from toxic expectations and achieve her every dream and ambition. Along the way, Åkerström also delivers poignant commentary on Swedish culture and the price Black women pay by virtue of the color of their skin. A guaranteed favorite for fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's
Americanah' ― Booklist

'Take three Black women in search of a better life. Add love and desire to a mix of family expectations and what it's like to have no family whatsoever. Akinmade Akerstrom's voice is fresh and insightful as she tells a compelling story of what it means to be a Black woman in a globalised world. From a rich, cushioned elite to a determined refugee, she takes us from the US and London to Sweden. This ambitious novel is beautifully realised. Akinmade Akerstrom is definitely a writer to watch!' -- Yaba Badoe, author of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars and Wolflight

Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström’s debut novel is as much a liberating battle cry as it is a searing, multifaceted examination of the hearts and minds of Black women navigating white-dominated spaces... Rather than shying away from or oversimplifying difficult and complex topics, Åkerström has effectively packaged themes of racism, immigration, fetishism and otherness into an engrossing story that will enlighten its readers, regardless of their nationality or race' ―

A beautiful novel [...] that highlights what it's really like to be a Black woman today... Contemporary and vivid, this story will captivate and educate' ―
Good Morning America

'A rich narrative, weaving together each woman's perspective to unpack nuances around foreignness and belonging. Through lively prose and spirited dialogue, Åkerström shows that for all the protagonists' differences, being a Black woman in a white-dominated society will inevitably lead them to the same fate' ―

'An engaging novel that presents the nuanced experiences of Black women from all walks of life. The author takes on misogynoir masterfully in this book that's never quite what you think it is' ―

'I loved
In Every Mirror She's Black so much. I was captivated by the writing from page one, and the characters kept me turning. I was heavily invested in Brittany, Kemi, and particularly, Muna, whom I had become protective of. Although it had sad notes, I appreciated how Lola didn't shy away from exploring heavy themes, as it made the book even more powerful' -- Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka Where Is Your Husband?

Incisive, thought-provoking and un-put-down-able... Riveting, moving and stirring (with punch-packing endings you won't see coming),
In Every Mirror She's Black is a magnificent must-read' ― LoveReading

'Each must find their way in a society depicted as more concerned with hygge than humanity in this hectic and ultimately extremely sad story' ―
The Gloss Magazine

'The book provides a pointed look at how Black women must navigate the world around them' ―

'An immersive novel about three Black women building new lives in Sweden and how racism manifests in an already-insular society' ―
Red Magazine

'A thought-provoking read' ―
Prima Magazine

'Stunning thought-provoking contemporary fiction from Akinmade Åkerström shines a deeply nuanced light on the Black woman experience in the Nordics' ―
Bella Naija

'In search of escape these three women find themselves in Stockholm – but instead of a fresh new start, they find the same problems just wear a different name' ―

'As their lives intersect, this smart, unflinching novel reveals facets of how it is to be a Black woman living and working in a white-dominated society' ―

'There are powerful, important themes underpinning the narrative, but what really shines through is the distinctness of the different characters and the depiction of real lives and emotions' ―
South Wiltshire Living

'Åkerström writes all too convincingly about racism, fetishism, identity and loneliness, giving additional depth and texture to this vivid, involving novel' ―
Daily Mail

'Åkerström sustains an undercurrent of darkness, a pulse of anxiety, so you as the reader never quite know where you will be from page to page' ―
Bad Form

'Drawing comparisons to
Queenie and Americanah, it promises to be one of the most discussed novels of 2021' ― Stylist

Book Description

The authentic and insightful story of Kemi, Brittany-Rae and Muna, three Black women and their everyday experiences living in Stockholm, a predominantly white city. Three Black women. Three everyday lives. There is no one way to be Black.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Apollo (30 August 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1801108609
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1801108607
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 2.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 145 ratings

About the author

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Having lived on three different continents — Africa, North America, and now Europe — for extended periods of time, Nigerian-American author Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström is drawn to the complexities and nuances of culture and how they manifest themselves within relationships -

Based in Sweden, Lọlá is an international-bestselling and award-winning visual storyteller, speaker, and photographer. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel, The Telegraph, New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Slate, Travel Channel, Adventure Magazine, Lonely Planet, amongst others. In addition to contributing to several books, she is the author of the following books–—2018 Lowell Thomas Award winner for best travel book, DUE NORTH, and international-bestselling LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well, available in over 17 foreign language editions.

She has been recognized with multiple awards for her work, including being named a 2022 Hasselblad Heroine and receiving the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award. She was honored with a MIPAD 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Award within media and culture in 2018. She contributed to National Geographic's Image Collection.

She is based in Stockholm and tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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V. O'Regan
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and thought provoking debut novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2021
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Mig Bardsley
3.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't get on with the characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 July 2022
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm stunned
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 May 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from beginning to end.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2022
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