Reni Eddo-Lodge has become the first black British author to top the UK book charts.
The author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is now the first Black British author to take the no.1 place since publishing data providers Nielsen began recording book sales in 2001.
In 2016, studies from the Bookseller have found that a writer named David was more likely to make it into the bestseller charts than any ethnic minority.
Starting as a blog in 2014, Eddo-Lodge’s book states why she no longer engages with “the vast majority” of white people on the topic of race, because of their refusing “to accept the legitimacy of structural racism and its symptoms”.
Eddo-Lodge responded on Twitter to the news of her topping the charts:
“Feels absolutely wild to have broken this record. My work stands on the shoulders of so many black British literary giants – Bernadine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah, Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy, Stella Dadzie, Stuart Hall, Linton K Johnson, Jackie Kay, Gary Younge – to name a few.”
Although pleased to be acknowledged, the news is bittersweet and “a horrible indictment of the publishing industry”.
“Can’t help but be dismayed by this – the tragic circumstances in which this achievement came about,” the author wrote. “The fact that it’s 2020 and I’m the first.”