Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other and winner of the 2019 Booker Prize is shining a light on Black authors for Black History Month, which in the UK has been celebrated in October since 1987.
This year, the award-winning author, poet and activist Bernardine Evaristo has joined forces with Canary Warf to shine a light on great Black authors as part of a campaign called “Black Britain Writing Back.” For the campaign, Evaristo has selected five Black authors whose stories will be published Canary Wharf’s Short Story Stations. The story stations are designed to dispense one, three, and five-minute stories for free, and it is hoped that the stories chosen by Evaristo will raise the profile of Black writers.
The campaign hopes to give Black authors the recognition they deserve and a platform to showcase their work because currently there is not a single black author represented in the top 50 bestselling books in the UK.
The stories selected by Evaristo are;
1. Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk: “An intersectional coming-of-age story, following a nineteen-year-old grappling with his racial and sexual identities.”
2. Irenosen Okojie, Nudibranch: “A mysterious tailor makes fantastic frocks for his clients.”
3. Nicola Williams, Without Prejudice: “A gripping courtroom thriller following barrister Lee Mitchell as she uncovers the dark secrets of the obscenely rich.”
4. Judith Bryan, Bernard and the Cloth Monkey: “A shattering portrayal of family, guilt and unshakable bonds as a family’s deepest secrets explosively unravel.”
5. S.I. Martin, Incomparable World: “A visceral reimagining of 1780s London, showcasing the untold stories of African-American soldiers grappling with their post-war freedom.”
Plus, the short stories machines will publish an extract from Bernardine Evaristo’s new book, Manifesto.
Live readings from the authors will also take place later in the month of October at Canary Wharf.
Bernardine Evaristo said: “This is such an innovative opportunity at Canary Wharf to shine the spotlight on black authors I admire and are deserving of a wider readership. Some of the chosen stories are part of my curated series with Penguin called ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’, and I hope that all of these writers find new readers. Great literature transcends all perceived boundaries and are for everyone.”
While Camilla Mcgregor, Arts and Events Planner, Canary Wharf Group, added: “The Short Story Stations at Canary Wharf are the first of their kind in the UK, having first gained popularity in the US, France and Hong Kong, with thousands of stories printed on recycled paper and read each week. Thousands of people visit Canary Wharf each month, which is a huge platform to showcase writing talent, so we’re proud to be able to play our part in helping Bernardine Evaristo put the spotlight on black authors to help them get the recognition they deserve.”
The ‘Black Britain Writing Back’ short stories are amongst a series of initiatives taking place throughout Black History Month at Canary Wharf. For more information about other events, please visit their website: https://canarywharf.com/whats-on/black-history-month-at-canary-wharf-oct-2021/