Brown Girl Book Lover - Your Spirit Guide to Diverse Literature

We got down and literary this Black History Month! 

In This Issue:
  • Interview with Nancy Johnson, The Kindest Lie 
  • Poetry Break: Joy Priest
  • Article: "Black Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read"

Our Feature WriterNancy Johnson

 In the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, memes of Obama enjoying his best life spread throughout social media with the caption, “come back, we need you.” Many were already feeling the blunt force from Trump’s travel band, his immigration detention camps, and his egregious nod to white supremacists. They wanted to retreat to a better time - the Obama Era - where diplomacy, hope, and intelligence thrived.

In Nancy Johnson's debut novel, The Kindest Lie she takes us back to the exuberant times of Obama’s presidency where hope is not just a slogan. As soon as Obama is declared the winner in the 2008 election, the main character Ruth and her husband rolled up their living room rug, and “opened the windows to give the neighborhood a contact high" of happiness. 

Brown Girl Book Lover spoke with Nancy about her first novel, the casualties of secrets, and hope. 


Poetry Break: Joy Priest

We are getting excited about our poetry issue in April. Nikky Finney + Joy Priest + Many More!  

I recently wrote this article for

Black people are in the future. They are in the past too, and not always dedicated by the narrative of slavery and colonization. Science fiction and fantasy books helped me to see this. I discovered Tananarive Due’s novel “My Soul to Keep” when I was casually browsing at a used bookstore.

As a teenager, I read mostly sci-fi and fantasy books by white writers, and when I picked up Due’s novel, I was stunned to see that a Black writer was a part of the genre. I bought the novel, and stayed awake reading the book that night. “My Soul to Keep” is about a group of immortals from Lalibela, Ethiopia. The novel removes the white predatory gaze of Africa and invites readers to employ a radical imagination about the continent’s past and its future. For the first time in literature, I saw Africa without the gaze of subjectivity.

The next day, I returned to the same bookstore to purchase Due’s second book “The Living Blood.” Due’s novels not only inspired me to travel to Africa, but showed me the magic and importance of seeing oneself in books. Black sci-fi and fantasy books compel us to employ a radical imagination when viewing our history, present, and future.

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