A few literary suggestions for Black History Month
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Maybe you know Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from when Beyoncé sampled her TEDx talk, “We should all be feminists,” or maybe you’ve been following her emergence as one of the most prominent voices of African literature over the last two decades. Her latest novel, Americanah, was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013.
Edna Lewis had a hell of a career. She worked her way up as a seamstress, eventually fashioning a dress for Marilyn Monroe. Then she became the first African-American celebrity chef. Then she broke her leg, so she wrote a cookbook. The Taste of Country Cooking was interspersed with personal stories of growing up in a freed-slave settled town in Virginia, and redefined what many thought of Southern food.
Roxane Gay(@roxanegay), famed author of Bad Feminist, is a Tumblr favorite, and not just because you can follow her. She writes about what it means to be a woman of color. She’s the first Black woman to write for Marvel, and she’s writing queer WOC into their storylines. She pulled her unreleased book from publishers Simon & Schuster after their deal with Milo Yiannopoulos was announced. It’s easy to admire her actions as much as her writing.
Debuting at TCAF 2017 - CONDO HEARTBREAK DISCO by Eric Kostiuk Williams
Published by Koyama Press
ISBN: 978-1-927668-45-0 $10.00 7 x 10”, 52 pages, b&w, trade paper May 2017
The condopocalypse is engulfing Toronto and a dynamic duo of gender fluid superheroes is all that’s left to stop it.
Towers of steel and glass are decimating Toronto’s neighbourhoods; replacing communities with condos. Can the city’s primary purveyors of socially motivated revenge and personal guidance, Komio and The Willendorf Braid, save the city from condo hell, or are they too late to save this Hogtown from the twisted CEO?
ERIC KOSTIUK WILLIAMS is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Toronto, ON. His debut autobiographical work Hungry Bottom Comics was nominated for the 2013 Doug Wright Spotlight Award, and each issue of the series was selected for The Best American Comics’ Notable Books of 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. Recent commercial clients include Joe Fresh, the Drake Hotel, Xtra!, and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.
“Evil and urbanity parry in this oh-so-very accurate portrait of Toronto the Good—or is it Toronto the Bad? A pair of superheroes (or perhaps demons) is queered into a deliciously devilish duo, kind of like Ab Fab on steroids. Denizens of Queen West, and specifically Parkdale, they skewer the shadow that lurks behind the explosion of condo high-rises, or “artists’ studios” as one developer so coyly names them. But will our heroines stand up for community and neighbourhood values or will they give in to the side of darkness? A kind of roman à clef for the hipster know-it-all. In other words, a must-read!” — AA Bronson
ABOUT THE FARM Based on the Hard Fifty Farm in rural Kansas, the Pioneers Press staff went “back to the land” in 2010 after stints in San Diego, CA, Norfolk, VA and Portland, OR. As beginner homesteaders and self-identified “farm punks,” they raise a variety of crops as well as care for an ever-growing group of rescue animals, including sheep, goats, chickens and ducks, all of which are supported entirely by Pioneers Press sales.
ABOUT PIONEERS PRESS Pioneers Press is a publishing house and small-press distro focusing on survival and sustainability on the farm and in the city, in addition to health, gender, sexuality, social justice and food movements, and literary works by up-and-coming authors. Since its launch in 2012, Pioneers Press has consistently produced titles that have made the best-seller lists of independent bookstores all over the world, including Powell’s Books #1 best-selling small press title of 2013 and 2014 (Adam Gnade’s The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad).
This is the mysterious so-called “Lausanne” Sunflowers. It was purchased by an unidentified private collector from a New York dealer in 1996 for an undisclosed sum.
The last time it was exhibited was in 1948 when the Cleveland Museum of Art had it for a month. Previously it had been exhibited three times for a total of just six weeks in Paris.
Since the 1948 exhibition, its movements have been shrouded in mystery and few people have seen it in recent years. The painting is said to be in excellent condition. This image, from Martin Bailey’s 2013 book, is likely the best image available, Bailey doesn’t give a picture credit.