In every mirror she's Black : a novel

by Akinmade-Akerström, Lola,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 13 copies
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As seen in Vulture, Essence, Good Morning America, The Independent, Goodreads, PureWow, and many more!

"A sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood."--Deesha Philyaw, 2020 National Book Award Finalist & award-winning author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

An arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a Black woman in the world.

Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people.

Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation's largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi's move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.

A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege--a life she's not sure she wants--as the object of his unhealthy obsession.

And refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny's office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home.

Told through the perspectives of each of the three women, In Every Mirror She's Blackis a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on important social issues of racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society.

Praise for In Every Mirror She's Black:

"In Every Mirror She's Blackis a wise and complicated exploration of the lives of three Black women in America and Sweden. Lola Akinmade Åkerström offers a sharply written story with messy, deeply moving characters, raising brutal questions and steering clear of easy answers. A book that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page."
--Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Timesbestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Sixand Malibu Rising

"In Every Mirror She's Blackhighlights the struggles of three women fighting to assimilate into a society that ignores their worth. These characters will pull at your heartstrings. Lola writes with a contemporary flair, highlighting the layered subtleties of the Black woman's plight. In Every Mirror She's Blackwill stay with readers for a long time."
--Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of bestselling novels Here Comes the Sunand Patsy

"In her debut novel, Lola Akinmade Akerstrom has given us a story that is at once enjoyable and disturbing as it explores the painful price millions of women around the world pay for walking around with black skin."
--Imbolo Mbue, New York Timesbestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Award-winning journalist and photographer Åkerström enters the world of fiction with a striking debut that portrays three Black women brought together by their interactions with an eccentric Swedish CEO and millionaire. Kemi Adeyemi is a top marketing executive but a failure at love. So when Jonny von Lundin offers her a job with double her present salary and her own department in a new country, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reignite her dating life. Brittany-Rae Johnson is a model-turned-flight-attendant swept up into Jonny's lavish lifestyle and obsession with her. Refugee Muna Saheed has a chance at securing a new home, thanks to Jonny hiring her to clean his firm's offices. As entertaining as it is revealing, Åkerström's novel has readers hoping that each of these women is able to break free from toxic expectations and achieve her every dream and ambition. Along the way, Åkerström also delivers poignant commentary on Swedish culture and the price Black women pay by virtue of the color of their skin. A guaranteed favorite for fans of Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Americanah (2013)."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Three Black women in search of a better life end up in Sweden in this convincing debut from Nigerian writer Åkerström. Linking all three is wealthy, enigmatic CEO Johan "Jonny" von Lundin. Kemi Adeyemi, 34, a Nigerian American professional, is headhunted by Jonny's Stockholm PR firm. Muna Saheed, a 20-year-old janitor at Jonny's firm, fled from Somalia two years earlier, leaving behind her family and the man she was in love with. Flight attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson, 38, was born in America to first-generation immigrants from Jamaica, and her life changes when she meets Jonny on a plane, then moves to Stockholm and marries him, before learning he has a racial fetish and some heavy baggage involving an ex. The profusion of themes and plotlines, all tenuously connected to Jonny, can feel a bit unwieldy, but Åkerström powerfully conveys all of the women's experiences with race as Muna is pushed to the limit with racist taunts from strangers and Kemi gradually comes to terms with the realities of the city's currents of racism ("Stockholm tricked her. Seduced her with its beauty and then turned into an ugly monster in front of her"). All in all, it's a worthy effort. Agent: Jessica Craig, Craig Literary. (Sept.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women, Black -- Sweden -- Stockholm -- Fiction.
Women, Black -- Social conditions -- Fiction.
Stockholm (Sweden) -- Fiction.
Social problem fiction.
Publisher Naperville, Illinois :2021
Other Titles In every mirror she is Black
Language English
Notes Includes reading group guide and a conversation with the author.
Description 408 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781728240381
Other Classic View