A graphic of six books on a multi-coloured background

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (2021)

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2020, The Mermaid of Black Conch is an atmospheric novel set on the fictional Caribbean island of Black Conch. It tells the story of David, a fisherman, and Aycayia, a young woman cursed to live as a mermaid, and follows their growing love and Aycayia’s gradual transformation back into a woman again. With a vivid setting and compelling characters, this book is a must-read for the summer. First published by Peepal Tree Press, we are delighted to bring this tale to even more readers.

Beyond a Boundary by C.L.R. James (2019)

Described as ‘the greatest sports book ever written’ (Sunday Times), C.L.R. James explores his relationship with cricket, along with the game’s psychology and aesthetics, and the issues of class, race and politics that surround it. Beyond a Boundary reaches outside the sport to address culture and colonialism, in a book that is part memoir and part passionate celebration of the sport.

The Longest Memory by Fred D’Aguiar (1995)

Set on a Virginian plantation in the nineteenth century, The Longest Memory tells the story of a rebellious, fiercely intelligent young enslaved person who breaks all the rules: learning to read and write; in falling in love with a white girl; the daughter of his owner, and, finally, in trying to escape and join her in the free North. This is a small and impactful book, and an essential read.

The Fat Lady Sings by Jacqueline Roy (2021)

Part of the Black Britain: Writing Back series, The Fat Lady Sings is a groundbreaking novel set in the 1990s that explores the intersection between race, class and mental health in the UK. With an introduction from Bernardine Evaristo, this novel gives a tender, deeply moving depiction of mental health, creating a striking portrait of two women finding strength in their shared vulnerability, as they navigate a system that fails to protect them.

Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips (2006)

Vintage has been publishing Caryl Phillips since 2003 and is home to a wealth of his novels. Crossing the River was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1993. It is an ambitious and powerful novel which spans two hundred and fifty years of the African diaspora. It tracks two brothers and a sister on their separate journeys through different epochs and continents, and explores themes of grief, resilience and the journey of healing.

To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite (2005)

Best known for its 1967 film adaptation, E. R. Braithwaite’s autobiographical novel addresses the social and racial issues in an East End school. Taking place in 1945, Rick Braithwaite starts work as a teacher after struggling to find a job in British engineering due to the colour of his skin. Left to govern a class of unruly teenagers, Braithwaite learns to break down barriers, enlighten and inspire his students.

Homecoming by Colin Grant (2020)

Colin Grant’s Homecoming is a ‘remarkable oral history of black post-war British life’ (Daily Telegraph). Drawing on over a hundred first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s, it paints an unforgettable portrait of the Windrush generation, and illuminates an essential and much-misunderstood chapter of British history.

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