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You Need To Read These Books By British Authors Of Colour

The inaugural longlist for the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour.

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The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour is a new annual award seeking to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers.

Jhalak Prize

The longlist consists of fiction, YA, non-fiction, debuts, short stories and genre, and the overall winner will be presented with a prize of £1,000.

1. Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman

Doubleday, Christian Sinibaldi / Via mediadiversified.org

Olivia and her twin brother Aidan are heading alone back to Earth following the virus that wiped out the rest of their crew. Nathan is part of a community heading in the opposite direction. Their lives unexpectedly collided, Nathan and Olivia are instantly attracted to each other, deeply, head-over-heels – like nothing they have ever experienced. But not everyone is pleased. Is it possible to live out a happy ever after?

2. Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Sceptre, Via owanhisayo.com

Set across New York, Berlin, and Connecticut, this follows the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki’s son Jay, who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront the mother who abandoned him when he was only 2 years old.

3. Nina Is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

Ebury, Via Twitter: @ShappiKhorsandi

Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t? And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…

4. Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

Hodder, carolinesheldon.co.uk

Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise - he’ll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it’s been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They’re after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they’re going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon’s out of choices - can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

5. Augustown by Kei Miller

W&N, Via Kai Miller

It is 11 April 1982 and a smell is coming down John Golding Road right alongside the boy-child, something attached to him, like a spirit but not quite. Ma Taffy is growing worried. She knows that something is going to happen. But if she can hold it off for just a little bit longer, she will. So she asks a question that surprises herself even as she asks it, ‘Kaia, I ever tell you bout the flying preacherman?

6. The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Chicken House, Via kiranmillwoodhargrave.co.uk

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

7. A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

Harvill Secker,, Nick Tucker

Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts which still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj.

8. Speak Gigantular by Irenosen Okojie

Jacaranda Books / Via Elise Dillsworth Agency, Elise Dillsworth Agency

A collection of sexy, serious, and disturbing stories from the author of Butterfly Fish. From lovelorn aliens who abduct innocent coffee shop waitresses to a London underground inhabited by the ghosts of those caught between here and the hereafter, from insensitive men cheating on their mistresses to brave young women attempting to be erotically empowered at their own peril…

9. Black And British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

Macmillan, Via Via Twitter: @davidolusoga

Award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers a revealing exploration of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare’s Othello.

10. In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room: Travels through Indian Medicine by Aarathi Prasad

Profile, Via wellcomecollection.org

From bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad to the waiting-rooms of Bollywood’s best plastic surgeons, from the asthma ‘cure’ that involves swallowing a live fish to ground-breaking mental health initiatives in Mumbai’s Dharavi mega-slum, In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room tells the story of the Indian people, in sickness and in health, and provides a unique perspective on the most diverse and fascinating country in the world.

11. The Bone Readers by Jacob Ross

Peepal Tree Press, Via peepaltreepress.com

When Michael (Digger) Digson is recruited into DS Chilman’s new plain clothes squad in the small Caribbean island of Camaho, he brings his own mission to discover who amongst a renegade police squad killed his mother in a political demonstration. Sent to London to train in forensics, Digger also makes use of the cultural knowledge he has gained from the Fire Baptist grandmother who brought him up, another kind of reader of bones.

12. Another Day In The Death Of America by Gary Younge

Faber & Faber, Gary Younge

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013. It was just another day in America; an unremarkable Saturday on which ten children and teens were killed by gunfire. The youngest was nine; the oldest was nineteen. White, Black and Latino, they fell in suburbs, hamlets and ghettos. None made the national news. There was no outrage about their passing. It was just another day in the death of America, where on a daily average - seven children and teens are killed by guns.

The Jhalak Prize shortlist will be announced 6th February, and the winner will be announced in March.

For more info visit their website.

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