I don’t know when I’m going to have this productive of a month again so here’s a wrap up! Click the links to read the reviews and profiles
Books I’ve been reading
A Stranger’s Pose, Emmanuel Iduma
In Our Mad And Furious City, Guy Gunaratne – Actually read this one a while ago but had a chance to read through quickly again and write up a review
Also read most of Back To Black by Kehinde Andrews. Have had it on the shelf for a long time and took Black History Month as an opportunity to start. Its very informative, Andrews is very firm in his perspectives. Will post on it once finished! Andrews also had a pretty good list published on the Guardian about books on Black radicalism . He didn’t include his own book. So modest.
Made visits to a couple of great bookshops: Chener Books & Books Peckham.
Even managed to get to an event at Libreria!
Articles I’ve been reading
- Nathalie Olah’s Vice article on Imposter Syndrome, culture and class wars made me buy her debut Steal As Much As You Can
- This brilliant, brilliant article by The Pudding on gender bias in the New York Times best seller list and how it is impacted by changes in the success of the literary genre
- Tobi Oredein of Black Ballad on growing up Nigerian and British, having white foster parents– Remembered this article when I watched The Last Tree
- Obviously cannot forget this was the month Bernadine Evaristo had to share the Booker Prize, an award she clearly should have held alone. Here’s what she had to say about being a Black British female writer right now. I really think Black British literature is having a moment right now so this was a good read. I should write something about that.
Screens: The Last Tree
Went to go see this at Picturehouse Brixton, they had a Big Scream viewing which was very VERY useful.
Shola Amoo’s second feature film is semi-autobigraphical and tells the story of Femi (Tai Golding/ Sam Adewunmi), a British Nigerian Boy who is forced to confront his identity when he is uprooted from his childhood home in rural Lincolnshire. Having spent most of his formative years with his loving foster mother (Denise Black), he is suddenly transplanted to inner city South London (I recognised some of the backdrops) when his biological mother (Gbemisola Ikumelo) decides to take him back.
It would be a disservice to dismiss this as a coming of age story. The film deftly grapples with themes of culture, identity and a very moving journey through the turbulent relationship between Femi and his mother. As Femi matures, he learns to simultaneously face the difficulties the being a young black man in London and being a child of a Nigerian immigrant who doesn’t understand him.
The Last Tree is beautiful to look at, with convincing performances from the actors playing Femi at both ages. I’m a Spike Lee fan so caught- and loved- the gliding dolly shots (non related but I also noticed this technique used in the last episodes of Top Boy). Visually, it reminded me a bit of Moonlight but very unique in it’s own way. Amoo tries to cover a lot of bases in this film, some aspects of the story I felt needed more time than available to develop-I’d love to know if there were any major outtakes
Farming covers similar subject matter, I look forward to seeing that too
Coming Up In November: Don’t know. Not about to lie and say I have a plan