Maaza Mengiste’s second novel, The Shadow King, was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2020 and bears all the hallmarks of the accolade. ‘Beautiful and devastating’ is Marlon James’ endorsement. What he means, we can assume, is that the writing is beautiful but its content devastating; the prose is vibrantly lyrical but the subject matter roams the darkest corners of conflict, something hard to reconcile with the word beautiful.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, joint winner of the Booker Prize 2019, was eagerly anticipated despite a high bar having already been set by its popular predecessor The Handmaid’s Tale, which encapsulated the potential consequences of suppressing women. The handmaid Offred, in her iconic white veil and red dress, became a symbol of feminism now Read More