Do you pair fiction and non fiction titles?

I never really plan my reading in any logical order but I thought I’d give it a go this month.  Two books I’ve been wanting to read together or in succession are Girl, Woman, Other (Bernadine Evaristo) and Heart Of The Race:  Black Women’s Lives In Britain ( Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie, Suzanne Scafe). I was actually planning to do so in August but here we are!

I’m excited to learn more about Black Women’s perspectives and contributions to British history. Primarily because I find hearing about it inspirational and relatable. Another reason is that we are often unacceptably erased from the picture. Having started Heart Of The Race (Verso books) a few days ago, I’m already learning how much of a contribution Black British women made, for example, to the success of workers’ unions. The courage and leadership they showed in the face of so much adversity. I’m sure there is so much more to learn, I am looking forward to turning more pages. Even though I have already found some parts difficult to read in terms of the racist challenges faced on arrival in Britain. Also interesting is that the ‘double shift’- women’s work in employment and then also at home is already being considered  from a feminist perspective.

Another book I could have paired with Heart Of The Race (perhaps a more natural pairing) is Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi. Both are brilliant texts on Black British Women’s activism and lives at their core. I’ve actually started Feminism, Interrupted and look forward to getting back to it soon. Incidentally, Lola Olufemi and Stella Dadzie are in conversation over Zoom with Feminist Library on Friday!

Heart Of The Race mentioned as one of 5 Insightful books on Black British History

So what does it have to do with Girl, Woman, Other?

I finished Girl, Woman, Other recently and loved it! I was looking for a fictional title that delved into the lives of different Black British Woman over time in one book and couldn’t think of a more fitting title. So far, the main crossover I’m seeing is challenges faced by Bumni who was academically so well qualified on arrival in Britain but found herself employed as a domestic worker. I found it similar to the injustices faced by qualified nurses or trained nurses who arrived from the Caribbean . Will there be any more common themes/ crossovers- I’m guessing there will be but I don’t know yet! For those who have read both, what do you think of this pairing? Is anyone pairing any fictions and non fictions? Might be something to do for non fiction November actually


Will be reviewing both!

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