BY LAURA BRADING
I read everything that Scottish author Ali Smith writes. I started doing Arts/Law at uni, and I hated the law component, and I read Ali Smith’s How to be Both for an English Literature course and just fell in love with her writing – so I immediately dropped out of Law and switched to English, and then proceeded to study and write about Ali Smith’s work in my honours thesis, my Master’s, and now my PhD. Smith is so extremely clever, so playful, and so joyous with language. Start with How to be Both or Like, and go from there. You’ll be hooked.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwake Emezi is the perfect binge read. Emezi can write in any genre and they smash it, but this one is a deliciously gluttonous rom-com about a young woman who falls for her boyfriend’s father. It’s also about grief and rediscovering vitality – but for me, it’s the pure sexual tension that glues my eyes to the page. It is so hot and fun.
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker is a wonderful debut novel that did not get as much buzz as it deserves! It’s about two best friends who meet studying visual art at college, and then they become artistic collaborators, animating their own autobiographical films. It’s one of the best representations of female friendship charged with eroticism, and has some of the most compelling descriptions of the art-making process. It’s kind of like Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy meets road-trip movie? I love it.
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