Silence please, for The Girl With The Louding Voice

A review of Abi Dare’s The Girl With The Louding Voice

Lockdown number three, a wet and cold start to 2021……reading has been an essential luxury this Winter.

The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare was a Christmas present from my husband. I picked it up half way through January and struggled to put it down again until I finished it. Set in Nigeria (where part of my heritage originates), told from the point of view of a girl who will inspire you and break your heart in equal measure, it’s a great read and one that carries important messages.

Continue reading “Silence please, for The Girl With The Louding Voice”

Out of the echo chamber

I’m still buzzing as I write today’s blog. I’ve just put down the phone to Alan Clifford, the BBC Radio Nottingham presenter. I had a really healthy, challenging chat with him today as I reviewed the news for his Sunday morning show (available on BBC Sounds if you’d like to listen).

I chose three news stories from this last week and what I loved about it, was that they opened up conversations about race, division, representation and equality. Alan asked some questions that I think a lot of people would probably ask too. Is literacy on the decline because of “text speak”? Doesn’t all this talk of race on social media bring more division? Isn’t it hard to keep up with the ever changing language about racial identity?

It made me realise how much I often luxuriate in my own echo chamber. So many of the people I speak to are joining me in educating themselves about race and diversity and are on the same page as me in terms of recognising the injustices and ways society needs to improve. Alan gave me the chance to publicly challenge the perceptions of many people who don’t agree, or aren’t aware, or aren’t interested. And that’s what Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! is all about – sparking conversation, debate, and, ultimately, change.

Continue reading “Out of the echo chamber”

Another Mother of a Book

A Review of The Mothers, by Brit Bennett.

On the back cover of The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, Roxane Gay is quoted as saying “The Mothers has stayed with me since I first read it….”. It stayed with me too. It was one of those books I had to sit with for a moment after I turned the last page. For a novel set around a church community, if felt almost prayer-like when I finished it. I had to sit and reflect on it, in silence, with respect.

Continue reading “Another Mother of a Book”

Sisterhood – inspired by Chimamada Ngoze Adichie

A fortnight ago, I disrupted my Sunday evening writing routine to celebrate one of my very favourite authors, Chimamada Ngozi Adiche. She, deservedly, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s Winner of Winners Prize for her stunning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, and gave a live interview, from Lagos, to thousands of admirers via Zoom.

On top of the glorious readings of some of her passages, and her captivating descriptions of Nigeria, where her inspiration, research, and personal experiences come from, I was touched by some of the other messages she had for us.

Female relationships, were a special element to Chimamanda’s interview and this is what I would like to reflect on for this week’s blog.

Continue reading “Sisterhood – inspired by Chimamada Ngoze Adichie”

Trustee Me

So this week was a great week! I was appointed as Trustee for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature for Equality and Diversity.

Myself and two fellow new Trustees, inspirational women who I can’t wait to meet, are bringing new perspectives to this charity that has already achieved so much as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. It’s a time when Nottingham is bursting with creativity, and also a time that the world needs a little more help to stay positive, inspired and empowered.

I’ve been following The Nottingham City Of Literature for a while. It’s an organistion I admire, for many reasons, all very meaningful to me. Focused on inspiring and supporting the people of my home town, its aim is to “build a better world with words”. I couldn’t think of a more praise worthy goal. It’s one I truly believe in and one I genuinely feel is possible.

This week’s blog is in celebration of this excellent organisation and what “building a better world with words” means to me.

Continue reading “Trustee Me”

See It to Be It

To celebrate the first female, mixed heritage, Asian, African Caribbean vice President of the United States being officially in post (three cheers for Kamala Harris!), today’s blog has to be about representation.

Knowing that my daughter will watch the news and see a little of herself in the Vice President of the United States is hard to describe. It’s comforting, reassuring, empowering, exciting and more, because she is represented.

So why is representation so important?

Here are the top five reasons from my point of view…..

Continue reading “See It to Be It”