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Raising the dead

Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men, based on the 1950s true story of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seaman wrongfully executed in Wales, was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize and is now a favourite for the Costa Novel Award. In 'Raising the Dead', Mohamed reflects on how in novels such as her first, Black Mamba Boy, and nowThe Fortune Men, she’s been determined to resurrect an uncomfortable and brutal colonial past, that is in danger of being forgotten.

Cane Warriors

Alex Wheatle

Moa becomes a cane warrior, fighting for the freedom of all the enslaved people in nearby plantations. But first Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer.

Are the gods to blame?

Colin Grant

The neurosurgeon Henry Marsh's books have been praised for their wit and humanity, in recognising his own fallibility and that of doctors generally, who are often held up as gods by patients. Colin Grant reflects on the lessons physicians can learn from Marsh’s humility in the present pandemic.

A River Called Time

Courttia Newland

In Dinium, a futuristic alternate reality of London, Markriss Denny might grow up poor and trapped. He has, though, the special power of astral travel.


Shara Atashi

As the Taliban once more take control of Afghanistan, the writer Shara Atashi revisits the film, Osama . Made almost twenty years ago in 2003, in the aftermath of the Taliban's defeat, the film is a meditation on the impact of the brutal regime on the country, in particular on a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to find work and support her family.