Bernardine Evaristo: ‘The book that made me cry? I’m as tough as old boots’


This post is by Bernardine Evaristo from Books | The Guardian


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The poet and novelist on Romans, black British history and the best books to get boys reading

The book I am currently reading
She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak, edited by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan and Rafeeat Aliyu. This is a groundbreaking, brave and timely collection of first-hand accounts by queer Nigerian women from a country where being gay is illegal and can result in imprisonment or death.

The book that changed my life
Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain by Peter Fryer. I read this book when it was first published in the 80s and I was astonished to discover that Africans had been in Roman Britain 1,800 years before my Nigerian father arrived in 1949. This book changed my understanding of Britishness. Years later I found a way to explore this history in my verse novel, The Emperor’s Babe, about a ...