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Reading lists

Oscars 2021: the books behind the films

Watched The Father and wondering what to see next? May we humbly suggest a book instead – several, actually, inspired by the year's most celebrated films.

The Oscars took place last night, two and a half months later than usual, topping a strange year for the film industry in which cinemas were mostly shut and hot ticket releases streamed on the small screen instead.

Nomadland director Chloe Zhao made history as the first woman of colour and second woman to win best director, while British stars Anthony Hopkins and Daniel Kaluuya won acting awards. 

However far you've made it through the current crop of Oscars nominees and winners, here’s some further reading, inspired by (and in some cases the inspiration for) nine of this year’s leading films. 


Another Round

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Promising Young Woman

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey (2019)

For better or worse, writer-director Emerald Fennell's Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman will likely be remembered as a response to the #MeToo movement, a manicured middle finger to misogyny, and a fist-bump to its female whistleblowers. Journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the original New York Times story on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the sexual abuse he inflicted on more than 80 women; their book usefully retrains its gaze on the structures that enabled that abuse rather than on any individual retribution.


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