Author JJ Bola's Essential Reading After 2017
A Kinshasa born, London-raised writer, poet, and educator, JJ Bola has published three books of poetry, Elevate (2012), Daughter of the Sun (2014), and WORD (2015), his most comprehensive poetry collection. His debut novel, No Place to Call Home was published in 2017.
As 2017 comes to an end, what books could you suggest that people read to reflect on this year’s tumultuous events and why do you recommend them?
1984 by George Orwell:
It goes into great detail about the dynamics of power, between the self and the state, and how easily people are manipulated into believing myths as facts.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge:
This book goes into great detail about racial inequality in the UK, which is a conversation that is almost totally absent in the current political narrative, yet so important.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Friere
This book explores how education reinforces or narrates the structures of oppression that dictate the hierarchy of society, and how we learn and unlearn, within those structures, the reality of our lives.
Dark Chapter by Winnie Li
The recent revelations of sexual assaults and abuses of power within the entertainment industry and beyond have highlighted the issue of gender inequality by way of sexual harassment and exploitation. Dark Chapter is a powerful story that gives insight into what it is like to experience such a tragic occurrence, and how to overcome it, from the empowering perspective of the survivor.