A QUICK NOTE       

I spent this week at a writing residency in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. My soul was cracking, and I had to take a break from New York City to replenish.

At Dairy Colony, I had a choice to stay in the Maya Angelou or the Langston Hughes suite. Since it’s Women’s History Month, and my novel focuses on the endless cycle of unrealized potential and inherited generational trauma on Caribbean women. I choose the Maya suite; I needed her wisdom to inspire me. And you know what – it did.

Whenever I wanted to throw my computer outside the window and call my novel a failure –Maya, Toni, Tayari, Michelle, Jane, Tanesha, Yolanda, Tarz, Nikky, Zahra, and the other beautiful women who occupy my world– would show up. They’d all take up space in my writing room, speaking their magic into me, and plugging me back into the rhythm, back into the beat, back at the crossroads where words and storytelling meet.  

Then I would continue writing.

Who needs to read my novel? I’m not sure. Why write this novel? I’m not sure.

But for the last ten years, these characters have been licking at my ear. They wake me up in the middle of the night, pleading for me to give them a home. They want a place to dwell in. 

This week, all of the women mentors and muses in my life kept me sane. 

I’m beyond thankful for all the women in my life, and all of the women in your life. They are allowing us to take up space and run the world. 

Our Feature Writer: Candice Iloh

Candice Iloh is a first-generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, and youth educator. She is a graduate of Howard University and holds an MFA in writing from Lesley University. Her work has earned fellowships from Lambda Literary and VONA among many others. Her debut novel, Every Body Lookingwas a finalist for the National Book Award.

“Candice Iloh’s beautifully crafted narrative about family, belonging, sexuality, and telling our deepest truths in order to be whole is at once immensely readable and ultimately healing.”—Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times Bestselling Author of Brown Girl Dreaming

I had such a wonderful time talking to Candice about mentors, writing, Brooklyn, and her lovely cats.


Date: Fri, Apr 23 | Zoom
Time: 1:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST
Sign Up Here! 

Who Is Brown Girl Book Lover? 

  • We interview BIPOC writers about their books and promote them. 
  • We review books by BIPOC & marginalized writers. 
  • We value & celebrate the intellectual contributions of BIPOC writers. 
  • We unearth published books by BIPOC writers and give them the limelight. 

My name is Leslie Ann Murray, and I’m a fiction writer, a book lover, a Trinidadian, a New Yorker, and your tour guide to literary diversity. 
Copyright © 2021 Brown Girl Book Lover, All rights reserved.

Friends, twice a month, we will bring you some good diverse literary news. You are probably receiving this email because you are following us on social media or registered to receive email newsletters with us on our website.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.