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Head of Zeus
In Every Mirror She's Black
In Every Mirror She's Black Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

A timely and arresting debut novel about what it means to be a Black woman in the world. Perfect for fans of Queenie and Americanah.

Kemi is ready to change her life. She's sick of being second-guessed in the boardroom; tired of smiling politely while men gaze at her body; bored of dating surveys that tell her Black African women are the least desired in America. Moving across the world, for a new job, certainly things will be different?

Brittany-Rae is tired of serving others. She's determined not to struggle like her parents did. As a flight attendant, she's seen the way the super-wealthy float, untouchable and easy, and she envies it. As a model in her twenties, she had a taste of that privilege. Now pushing forty, she knows that to have one kind of freedom, she must sacrifice another.

Muna began her treacherous journey two years ago. Then, she was a family of three. Now her mother and younger brother are buried somewhere at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. She's been granted asylum, but she can't shake the feeling that she will never belong. When your only family is a stack of passport photos, it's hard to grow new roots.

In search of escape, these three women find themselves in Stockholm, a city that prides itself on being egalitarian and open. Instead of a fresh new start, they find the same problems just wear a different name.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Fiction
09 Jun 2022 * 416pp * £8.99 * 9781801108607
REVIEWS
'A sharply written story with messy, deeply moving characters, raising brutal questions and steering clear of easy answers. A book that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page'
Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six
'These characters will pull at your heartstrings. Lọlá writes with a contemporary flair, highlighting the layered subtleties of the Black woman's plight'
Nicole Dennis-Benn, bestselling author of novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy
'A sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood. Timely and terrific!'
Deesha Philyaw, award-winning author of The Secret Life of Church Ladies
'This is a very different and unpredictable portrayal of Black women's search for love and self, and it's pure magic'
Kim Golden, author of Maybe Baby
'At once enjoyable and disturbing as it explores the painful price millions of women around the world pay for walking around with black skin'
Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers
'Captivating. Åkerström describes what it is to be an ambitious black woman in today's world. The story of Kemi, Muna and Brittany-Rae – black women hoping to start anew in a society that does not see them – is a story for these times, and their fate is a stark reminder that the seaweed isn't always greener in somebody else's lake'
Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street
'A striking debut ... As entertaining as it is revealing, Åkerström's novel has readers hoping that each of these women is able to break free from toxic expectations and achieve her every dream and ambition. Along the way, Åkerström also delivers poignant commentary on Swedish culture and the price Black women pay by virtue of the color of their skin. A guaranteed favorite for fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah'
Booklist
'Take three Black women in search of a better life. Add love and desire to a mix of family expectations and what it's like to have no family whatsoever. Akinmade Akerstrom's voice is fresh and insightful as she tells a compelling story of what it means to be a Black woman in a globalised world. From a rich, cushioned elite to a determined refugee, she takes us from the US and London to Sweden. This ambitious novel is beautifully realised. Akinmade Akerstrom is definitely a writer to watch!'
Yaba Badoe, author of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars and Wolflight
'Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström’s debut novel is as much a liberating battle cry as it is a searing, multifaceted examination of the hearts and minds of Black women navigating white-dominated spaces ... Rather than shying away from or oversimplifying difficult and complex topics, Åkerström has effectively packaged themes of racism, immigration, fetishism and otherness into an engrossing story that will enlighten its readers, regardless of their nationality or race'
BookPage
'A beautiful novel [...] that highlights what it's really like to be a Black woman today ... Contemporary and vivid, this story will captivate and educate'
Good Morning America
'A rich narrative, weaving together each woman's perspective to unpack nuances around foreignness and belonging. Through lively prose and spirited dialogue, Åkerström shows that for all the protagonists' differences, being a Black woman in a white-dominated society will inevitably lead them to the same fate'
Vulture
'An engaging novel that presents the nuanced experiences of Black women from all walks of life. The author takes on misogynoir masterfully in this book that's never quite what you think it is'
Essence
'I loved In Every Mirror She's Black so much. I was captivated by the writing from page one, and the characters kept me turning. I was heavily invested in Brittany, Kemi, and particularly, Muna, whom I had become protective of. Although it had sad notes, I appreciated how Lola didn't shy away from exploring heavy themes, as it made the book even more powerful'
Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka Where Is Your Husband?
'Incisive, thought-provoking and un-put-down-able ... Riveting, moving and stirring (with punch-packing endings you won't see coming), In Every Mirror She's Black is a magnificent must-read'
LoveReading
'Each must find their way in a society depicted as more concerned with hygge than humanity in this hectic and ultimately extremely sad story'
The Gloss Magazine
'The book provides a pointed look at how Black women must navigate the world around them'
Independent
'An immersive novel about three Black women building new lives in Sweden and how racism manifests in an already-insular society'
Red Magazine
'A thought-provoking read'
Prima Magazine
Author
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Nigerian-American and based in Sweden, Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström is an award-winning author, speaker, and photographer. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, BBC, CNN, Guardian, Sunday Times Travel, Daily Telegraph, New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Slate, Travel Channel, Adventure Magazine, Lonely Planet, amongst others. In addition to contributing to several books, she is the author of the following books: 2018 Lowell Thomas Award winner for best travel book, Due North and bestselling LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well, available in 18 foreign language editions. She has been recognized with multiple awards for her work, including 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award, and she was honoured with a MIPAD 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Award within media and culture in 2018. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Image Collection. Lola is also the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden's capital city in depth.
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