Kate Tempest’s Brand New Ancients pushes the idea of what poetry can be, telling a complete story through verse rather than serving as a collection of individual poems. It’s the kind of story that deserves to be read all in one go, preferably with tea, and lose yourself into the world of these characters whose lives intersect in ways that are recognisable to the reader.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, who witnesses her innocent best friend Khalil being shot wrongfully by police in her home of the “ghetto” of Garden Heights, and how she struggles to find her identity between her home and the suburban high school she attends. It describes how she handles her grief and how she deals with the legal enquiry to his death as the only witness to the incident.
Alison Bechdel’s second memoir, Are You My Mother?, explores her relationship with her mother and her quest for her to understand their relationship. It discusses her experiences of therapy in her attempts both to understand herself from a psychoanalytical perspective and the way she and her mother interact with each other. It also covers her parents’ relationship, and her mother’s marriage to a closeted gay man as detailed in her first memoir, Fun Home.
Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl tells the story of Cath and Wren, identical twin sisters who, until college, have shared everything together. Wren chooses the stereotypical college experience – parties, boys, and dancing – whereas Cath sees herself more as “the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight”.
Nasty Women, released by 404 Ink on International Women’s Day, brings together a collection of women from all walks of life to discuss the issues that are important to them. Covering topics like race, body image, class, and identity, the collection covers a wide variety of the issues that women today face.